US government courts Silicon Valley on cybersecurity

A day-long summit in Silicon Valley hopes to promote better information sharing with private companies

Lisa Monaco of the National Security Council speaks at the White House cyber summit in Stanford, CA, on February 13, 2015

Lisa Monaco of the National Security Council speaks at the White House cyber summit in Stanford, CA, on February 13, 2015

Senior U.S. government officials came to Silicon Valley on Friday to deliver a direct appeal to executives from major companies and the cybersecurity industry: work with us so the nation will be better protected from cyberattacks.

The charm offensive, which includes a speech by President Barack Obama, comes as a new government agency is being formed to oversee preventive and reactive response to cyberattacks: the U.S. Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. That's part of the government's response to the growing number of cyberattacks on large corporations, like Target and Sony Pictures, but the cooperation of industry is not guaranteed.

Lisa Monaco, a senior advisor to President Obama on homeland security and counterterrorism, said she worried that the type of cyberattack that targeted Sony could become the norm in the future if more isn't done.

"The cyberthreat is becoming more diverse, it's becoming more sophisticated and more dangerous," she said. "So that's why we are here. We are at a transformational moment in the evolution of the cyberthreat."

Monaco's remarks came a couple of hours before President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order aimed at improving information sharing with the private sector.

But the order can only go so far and the government needs the goodwill of U.S. companies to contribute information on cyberattacks and breaches.

Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, spoke on-stage with Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, and told him companies are looking for liability protection before they divulge information on cyberattacks and breaches to the government.

Goodwill has been something in short supply at some major Internet companies in the wake of the recent revelations on NSA spying.

Perhaps as a result, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, all declined invitations to attend and instead sent deputies, according to Bloomberg News.

One prominent Silicon Valley CEO will be speaking: Apple's Tim Cook is scheduled to speak later Friday right before President Obama takes the stage.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags american expressAppleU.S. Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Centerregulationsecuritylegislationgovernment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?