Stanford to host White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

Stanford to host White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

obama cyber President Barack Obama talks next to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, Jan. 13, 2015. Reuters


The White House announced it will host a Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford on Feb. 13, convening major stakeholders to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect consumers and companies from growing network threats.

The all-day event will include senior leaders from the White House and across federal government; CEOs from a wide range of industries including financial services, technology, retail and communications companies; law enforcement officials; and consumer advocates. Stanford faculty members and students currently researching cybersecurity issues will be involved throughout the summit.

"We are honored to host this White House summit at Stanford University and are excited to play a pivotal role in convening experts from government, industry and academia," said Amy Zegart, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford. "Stanford is very engaged in studying cyber-related issues, and we look forward to enhancing this work by sharing our expertise on the cybersecurity issues that are so critical for the United States, its consumers and its businesses."

Topics at the summit will include "increasing public-private partnerships and cybersecurity information sharing, creating and promoting improved cybersecurity practices and technologies, and improving adoption and use of more secure payment technologies," the White House said in a statement.

Stanford announced a major Cyber Initiative in November that will apply broad campus expertise to the diverse challenges cyber-technologies pose for virtually every facet of our personal, governmental and economic lives. Funded with a $15 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Stanford Cyber Initiative draws upon Stanford's experience with multi-disciplinary, university-wide initiatives to focus research on the core themes of trustworthiness, governance and the unexpected impacts of technological change.

"Stanford has tremendous depth in the information security field, which is playing a deepening role in every facet of our lives," said Stanford Law Professor George Triantis, who chairs the Cyber Initiative. "Stanford is conducting extensive research into Internet security across a wide swath of disciplines – computer science, law, engineering, medicine, political science, economics and education. Collaborations with industry and government are vital, and we applaud the White House for drawing us all together here at Stanford."

Cybersecurity is expected to be raised as a key priority by President Obama in his State of the Union address next week. The White House Summit is also the next step in the President's BuySecure Initiative, which was launched in November 2014, and will help advance national efforts the government has led over the last two years with executive orders on consumer financial protection and critical cybersecurity infrastructure.

Details are still being finalized for the summit at Stanford, which will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and small group workshops, allowing participants to build on efforts in the public and private sectors to further improve cybersecurity practices.

Stanford units expected to be involved in the summit include the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Stanford Cyber Initiative, the Center for International Security and Cooperation, the Hoover Institution and the schools of Engineering, Law, Business, Medicine and Education, among others.