Senior White House National Security Council officials to discuss need to defend critical U.S. infrastructure on Nov. 19
The global supply chain of essential goods and services depends on strong networks of global communication. Critical infrastructure in the United States is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks that exploit security weaknesses and disrupt supply chains from food to fuel to finances.
Virginia Tech will host two White House National Security Council officials at the Global Supply Chain Resilience and American Cybersecurity event on Nov. 19 at noon ET. They will speak on how the U.S. can develop and ensure supply chain resilience.
Sponsored by the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs, the Virginia Tech National Security Institute, and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, the event is open to the public; faculty, alumni, and students are encouraged to attend. Registration is required.
Jason Tama, deputy for resilience and response, and Jeff Greene, chief, of cyber response and policy, will discuss the need to develop new policies and deploy advanced technologies to detect, prevent, and deter future attacks.
“COVID-19 showcased some of the deficiencies in the global supply chain as we witnessed low stocks in the manufacturing sector and thin inventories and choke-points in the electronics industry. Meanwhile, hackers are becoming more sophisticated in gaining access to the networks of numerous companies and government agencies by exploiting software programs as a weak link in their supply chains,” said Mehrzad Boroujerdi, professor and director of Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Patrick Roberts, associate professor, Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs, one of the moderators of the event, said, “supply chain, critical infrastructure, and cybersecurity issues are interconnected global problems. A new executive order to improve the nation’s cybersecurity addresses supply chain vulnerabilities. Attendees will learn what national security staff are doing to address supply chain, cyber, and critical infrastructure issues.”
Jeffrey H. Reed, the Willis G. Worcester Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, and chief technical officer for the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), another moderator of the event, said that one visible supply chain issue concerns 5G. “This fundamental technology touches almost all aspects of information technology and automation.”
Research underway at CCI and Wireless@VT is developing new approaches to constructing cellular networks that will improve the ability of the United States to produce its own cellular infrastructure.