By David N. Fagan and Kristen E. Eichensehr
On March 28, our firm hosted an event, co-sponsored with The Chertoff Group, on Legal and Policy Developments in Cybersecurity. The event featured keynote addresses by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, now Senior Of Counsel with Covington and founder of The Chertoff Group, and Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”) and principal sponsor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (“CISPA”), which passed the House last year and is expected to be re-introduced and voted upon in HPSCI soon.
The program also included a panel discussion examining the scope of the cybersecurity threat confronting the government and private sector; how law, regulation, and policy may address the threat; and certain competing policy imperatives, including balancing security and economic considerations. The panel included three partners at Covington — David Fagan (who moderated), John Veroneau (international trade), and Robert Nichols (government contracting) — along with Prescott Winter, Managing Director of the Chertoff Group; James Mulvenon of Defense Group, Inc.; and Scott Aaronson of the Edison Electric Institute.
As Congress moves toward votes on cybersecurity legislation, we thought it would be timely to offer some reflections on the program and panel discussion. In particular, while cybersecurity is a topic du jour in Washington and the press, the program sought to dig deeper than the headlines, unpack the complexity of cybersecurity, and explore how the interconnection of systems and the related threats impact various legal, policy, and business considerations. The following are some observations from the event: