Identiv CEO Sees Shift in Cybersecurity Under Biden Administration

When it comes to nation-sponsored hacking, Humphreys says look for Biden to increase pressure on Russia and other countries.

As 2020 draws to a close and the United States prepares to usher in a new administration led by President-Elect Joe Biden, questions have arisen about approaching changes in cybersecurity efforts. Steve Humphreys, CEO of Identiv, offers his insight and predictions on major changes coming.

Most notably, Humphreys suggests Biden might be tempted to bring back Chris Krebs to resume his role as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Krebs was fired in a Nov. 17 tweet by President Trump after he and other officials who oversaw the election determined it was free of major fraud or interference, contradicting the president’s unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary.

Humphreys has an alternative candidate to serve as the new CISA director. The “smart choice,” he says, would be to tap Window Snyder, CSO at Square, and previously at Intel, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Per Humphreys, Snyder knows cybersecurity deeper than anyone else the administration could find, and deeper than any international counterparts. While she’s not a political pro, he believes she would be the right choice.

Former Obama administration official Alejandro Mayorkas, who was tapped to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), can be expected to help usher in the new perspective on cybersecurity, Humphreys says.

“Mayorkas has a lot of experience from negotiating cyber agreements under President Obama and will make it a priority. It is the main battleground and needs a whole focus as an ‘arms agreement’ approach while also strengthening our own ‘anti-missile’ systems just like during the nuclear arms race. Biden’s team’s pick shows he gets this,” he continues.

When it comes to Russia and other countries in terms of nation-sponsored hacking, Humphreys foresees increased pressure is on the horizon.

“There will be much more pressure on Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and others. The best defense is to ensure domestic enforcement, while also strengthening our security. Cyber national security, and especially cyber-protection of our government, will be a high priority and even can be a ‘legacy’ policy for Biden. It aligns with his other policies for infrastructure, job training, election credibility, national security, coordinated international relations and others,” Humphreys says.

With the election results still being called into question, Humphreys says there will be a greater focus on election security in the future.

“Election security absolutely needs to function much better; making the much-needed improvements would not be hard, and we should have ubiquitous strong authentication for all of our people. Matching written signatures to ‘verify’ is not ideal,” he says. “There are straightforward alternatives that everyone can use.”

A caveat that Humphreys says many are overlooking: “With all the work-from-home going on and especially school-from-home, our country’s families and children are more exposed to cyber danger than ever. ‘Bad guys’ are taking advantage of it. To function as a free society and especially to keep our kids safe, we need a serious and fast program for easy to use, accessible-to-all cybersecurity.”

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