Bill Conner: We Need a ‘Single, Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Strategy’

Some call him vocal. Others say he has passion.

But no matter your preferred adjective, there’s no mistaking Bill Conner’s unwavering commitment toward improving cybersecurity policy in the U.S.

After witnessing a year of high-profile breaches and a number of well-intentioned strategies, Conner penned a new opinion piece for The Hill, “Two cybersecurity policies, one clear new objective,” which outlines next steps for policymakers.

Conner, SonicWall’s president and CEO, applauds their direction. But he also feels some parts are disjointed and there should be better focus on integrating the government’s newest pair of policies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Cybersecurity Act and the National Cyber Strategy of the United States of America.

“What we have learned from the numerous breaches in the public and private sectors is that the foundation of the internet is a digital supply chain that must be defended from end to end …”

Bill Conner
SonicWall President & CEO

“What we have learned from the numerous breaches in the public and private sectors is that the foundation of the internet is a digital supply chain that must be defended from end to end; the smallest player has proven to be an effective entry point for mischief,” Conner outlined on The Hill.

The digital supply chain isn’t discussed enough. Business isn’t conducted in disparate networks or environments. Organizations big and small are virtually linked through contracts, partnerships, agreements and an untold number of networks. This means that cybercriminals can attack smaller organizations to gain lateral access to their true targets — often large enterprises or government agencies.

“To deliver robust, cost-effective cybersecurity strategies for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB), enterprises and government agencies, we must align both sets of guidelines to create a single, comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy,” said Conner, who co-chaired the Corporate Governance Task Force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity Partnership, helped unveil the INTERPOL Global Smart eID Card and addressed the United Nations on global challenges in cybercrime.

To move toward that objective, Conner prescribed three key transformations for the U.S. government, which are outlined in his featured commentary on The Hill.

Geoff Blaine on Twitter
Geoff Blaine
Director of Corporate Communications | SonicWall
A 12-year veteran of the security space, Geoff serves as SonicWall’s director of corporate communications. He brings a blend of real-world journalism experience, cybersecurity perspective and mainstream tech interest.
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