Venable announced the addition of Ari Schwartz as the firm's Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services. In his role, Schwartz will provide companies with a holistic approach to addressing cybersecurity issues. He will work with Venable attorneys and professionals, including litigators, former regulators, and legislative advisors, to provide cybersecurity consulting services for the firm, assisting organizations with understanding and development of risk management strategies, including implementation of the Cybersecurity Framework and other planning tools to help minimize risk. Prior to joining Venable, Schwartz was a member of the White House National Security Council, where he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Cybersecurity.
"I was only planning on staying at the White House two years. There are a lot of good opportunities out there and I wanted to take advantage of them at this time," Schwartz told Law360. "This position allows me to work on both the policy side as well as directly with clients on risk management, which is what I wanted to do in this space." Discussing the complexities of cybersecurity, he said, "Cybersecurity is not going to be solved overnight; there's not going to be a solution to this problem where you install some software and all the problems are going to go away. It's all about risk management. And as we've seen, even the best protected systems have had problems, so companies have to be prepared to both improve their protections and respond when an incident occurs."
On the implementation of the Cybersecurity Framework, Schwartz added, "The framework is built to be a risk management tool where companies and organizations can set a baseline where they can say this is where we are today and figure out where they want to get to. That is exactly the type of thing we can help companies with moving forward…The goal is to build more collaboration and work across sectors to be able to respond to cybersecurity policies that are out there."
In an interview with CNBC, Schwartz talked about improved encryption technology and its implications for law enforcement. "Stronger encryption is inevitable," he said. "Law enforcement is going to have to learn to work in that environment." He also the discussed the controversy surrounding NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden saying he should return to the U.S. and face jail time. "You have to pay the price for the crime if you believe you did the right thing," said Schwartz. "The longer he continues to stay in Russia and not say anything about their surveillance, I think it raises questions about the morality of what he's saying in the long term…I would not have done what he did. But what's his stance on Russian surveillance? He's not willing to face justice no matter where he is. That's not civil disobedience."
News of Schwartz's move was also featured in Legaltech News, The Hill, FCW, Federal Times, GovCon Executive, The Deal, Bloomberg BNA, Politico Pro, Washington Technology, Inside Cybersecurity, Potomac Tech Wire, Federal News Radio and Citibizlist.