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Connecting The Dots On Cybercrime

“We had no way to connect the dots.”

That’s what General Keith Alexander told a reporter at The New Yorker last year when he was asked to describe a key failing of the U.S. government’s security efforts in preventing 9/11.

To be specific, Alexander said, “Around 9/11, we intercepted some of [the hijackers] calls, but we couldn’t see where they came from. So, guys like [Khalida-] Mihdhar [one of the 9/11 hijackers living] in California – we knew he was calling people connected to Al Qaeda in Yeman. But we thought he was in the Middle East. We had no way to connect the dots. If you rewound 9/11, what you would have done is tipped the FBI that a guy who is planning a terrorist attack is in San Diego. You may have found the other three groups that were with him.”

So, what if we, in payments, could rewind the clock back to before the days of the cyberattacks? What would we do differently?

Perhaps quite a bit.

FBI investigators found that over 90 percent of the data breaches reported to the agency were entirely avoidable. They assert that businesses have not taken the correct steps, and in some cases, companies have done nothing to protect sensitive information, including card data.

“What should we do differently” is the question that we’ll tee up during The Innovation Project 2015 discussion entitled “From Authentication to Identity.” The panel is led by the biggest heavyweights in the cyber security industry and intended to tackle one really important thing: help us think beyond solving for today’s problems by laying the proper foundations that allow us to stay ahead of the increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals whose livelihood is dependent upon staying one step ahead of us.

Leading that discussion is Gen. Keith Alexander, the former director of the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Security Command, a post he held for nine years. Alexander is considered one of the most strategic thinkers in U.S. Intelligence and cyber security. Among those CEOs joining him in this discussion is Kevin Mandia, the SVP and COO of FireEye and the former co-founder and CEO of Mandiant. Mandiant is the firm that has helped Sony clean-up after the company’s cyberattack last year.

It’s their job to help us figure out how to protect against the threats that we’d be facing tomorrow, if we could only connect the dots today.

Can you really afford to miss this discussion?

A discussion that will only happen at The Innovation Project 2015?

Reserve your place here.

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