April 14, 2017

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity interviews Ari Schwartz on information sharing with the government

2 min

Venable's Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services, Ari Schwartz, was interviewed in an April 14, 2017, WSJ Pro Cybersecurity article on the importance of private sector businesses having a plan to share information with the federal government in the event of a cyber breach. President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order changing how the government interacts with the private sector. It is expected to include a larger role for the Defense Department in protecting civilian networks from cyberattacks.

"Companies should think about reaching out to law enforcement ahead of time in order to build a relationship," said Schwartz. "It can be as simple as calling [a law enforcement agency like the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Secret Service] and saying, 'We're writing our incident response plan and just want to know who we should contact in case of an incident.'" He advised businesses to "be proactive in determining which government agencies are their best resource for responding to an incident, and what kind of legal representation they may need."

Generally, Schwartz said working with government agencies is a positive experience for businesses in terms of building relationships and responding to cyber issues. However, he cautioned that a larger role for the Defense Department could complicate matters particularly with information sharing. "The Department of Defense is not designed to work cooperatively with businesses, aside from defense contractors," he said.