The invisible line of defense
Dr. David Mussington
BA/MA University of Toronto, PhD Carleton University
Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, CISA
A relatively unsophisticated hack of the Colonial pipeline company's operation at the start of the summer this year shut down nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supply for a few days in what turned out to be the largest ever cyberattack on American infrastructure. Yet, these attacks have become more common and are on the rise. Reported Ransomware attacks alone cost the USA Billions of dollars annually. To make things more distressing, the Colonial hackers were all but a small criminal group. American infrastructure is behind in adopting technological capabilities needed to protect itself against such mischief especially from hostile states. Therefore it is paramount to have a frontline research and operations team to coordinate and enhance our defense.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is that organization, and it is our privilege to have its Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Dr. David Mussington discuss how CISA is tackling the major cyber/infrastructure security issues the USA is currently facing, and how it plans to bridge the divide between private technology firms and the Federal government to develops tools. He will share his perspective on the future of our digital lives and work in a global and more hostile world, and how it can be made inclusive and safe. And for those interested in rolling up their sleeves and joining the technological forefront of our cyber defense, he will discuss careers at CISA.
Time will be allocated for Q&A.
- MIT Club of Washington DC
- Yale Club of Washington DC
- Harvard Club of Washington DC
Dr. David Mussington serves as the Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as of February 2021. As Executive Assistant Director, he helps lead CISA’s efforts to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure in coordination with government and the private sector. Key areas of focus include vulnerability and risk assessments; securing soft targets and crowded places; training and exercises; and securing high-risk chemical facilities.
Prior to joining CISA, Dr. Mussington was Professor of the Practice and Director for the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the School of Public Policy for the University of Maryland. His research and teaching activities focused on cyber-physical system risk management, election cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure security risk management.
In 2010, he was senior adviser for cyber policy in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), later serving on the Obama administration’s National Security Council staff as Director for surface transportation security policy. In the former role, he led preparation and release of the 2011 Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which was DOD’s first enterprise-wide cyber strategy document.
Dr. Mussington has a Doctorate in Political Science from Canada’s Carleton University. He also received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He undertook post-doctoral work at Harvard’s Belfer Center where he was a MacArthur Scholar, and at the U.K.’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).