AI, Threat Intelligence and The Cyber Arms Race: SonicWall CEO Bill Conner Joins Chertoff Group Security Series Event


SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner was featured as part of an exclusive group of cybersecurity thought-leaders at The Chertoff Group Security Series Event, “AI, Threat Intelligence and The Cyber Arms Race,” on June 18.

Conner was flanked by Christopher Krebs, Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the Department of Homeland Security; Dimitri Kusnezov, Deputy Under Secretary for Artificial Intelligence & Technology, Department of Energy; along with panel moderator Chad Sweet, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, The Chertoff Group.

Together, they took to the stage to discuss how AI solutions are being leveraged to prevent, detect and respond to the cyber threats attacking both critical public infrastructure and the private sector.

The wide-ranging discussion took on everything from election cybersecurity to self-driving cars, but was grounded by a focus on how AI is increasingly growing in importance when running cyber defenses in both the public and private sectors.

With this in mind, they looked at the increasing number of ‘have and have-nots’ in these areas with Conner pointing out that an underfunded agency or a small company simply doesn’t “have the resource — capital or human” to defeat a major cyberattack without AI-based cyber defenses such as SonicWall Real-Time Deep Memory InspectionTM (RTDMI) that can both detect and prevent existing and never-before-seen cyberattacks as they appear.

From left to right, The Chertoff Group co-founder Chad Sweet, CISA director Christopher Krebs, DOE Deputy Under Secretary Dimitri Kusnezov and SonicWall CEO Bill Conner converse during The Chertoff Group Security Series June 18 in Maryland.

‘It starts with the chip’

The conversation moved on to discuss current types of cyberattacks and how growth in 5G, while increasing exponentially, is leaving itself open to sophisticated state-sponsored attacks because the industry has still not fully agreed upon a security standard.

They agreed that in 2019 cybersecurity has to go all the way down to the supply chain and chip level, especially when considering ongoing controversies over alleged government influence on companies like Huawei, and confirmed tech problems like the side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel chips. In Bill Conner’s words, “It does start with the chip … because that’s everywhere.”

Watch the whole video (provided above) for the in-depth consideration of the threats posed by Internet of Things (IoT) growth, a lively Q&A session with the audience, and the astute observation that modern cyber threats are borderless and not bound by the same rules as other threats.

“Tariffs and borders are all interesting. They’re all the rage these days,” said Conner. “But cyber doesn’t care about that … we have to think differently … we learned how to fight air, land and sea, [now] we’re learning how to fight cyber.”

About the Chertoff Group Security Series

Since 2013, The Chertoff Group Security Series has become a respected community building event to discuss important national security and risk management issues, highlight innovation, and network with leading practitioners, policy makers, investors, and thought leaders.

The Chertoff Group Security Series convenes CEOs, CSOs, CIOs, CISOs, COOs, General Counsels, senior agency leadership, and senior IT risk executives from both the public and private sectors. The forum welcomes technology and security leaders across a variety of industries whose operational business decisions are impacted by technology and are seeking insight on role of policy in today’s global technology business market.

SonicWall Staff