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The Impact of A.I. on Cybersecurity

An illustration of a person at a crossroads, with signs pointing them in various directions.
January 16, 2024

The narratives around AI and cybersecurity are the modern day Choose-Your-Own-Adventure: turn to page 10, and AI is solving many of today’s cyber problems and ushering in a new era of strong privacy protections and digital security. But turn to page 20, and AI is instead empowering attackers to overwhelm defenses and undermine the digital foundations of our national and economic security. As with most extremes, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle, but just where it lands will have major consequences for governments, companies, and individuals. 

On January 16, cyber and AI experts shared where they believe we are headed, as well as what you and your organization can do to steer towards the right direction.

speakers

George Barnes's headshot.

George Barnes
Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency

Read about George Barnes

Mr. George C. Barnes served as the Deputy Director and senior civilian leader of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) from 2017 to 2023. As Deputy Director, Mr. Barnes acted as NSA’s chief operating officer, overseeing strategy execution, establishing policy, guiding operations, and managing the senior civilian leadership.  As an agency deputy in the U.S. national security system, Mr. Barnes supported the U.S. defense and intelligence enterprise in the formulation of national security policies, and positioned NSA as an integrated mission partner enabling U.S. decision advantage and security against foreign threats.

Over his 35-year career at NSA, Mr. Barnes held numerous technical and organizational leadership roles spanning intelligence collection operations, target analysis, foreign liaison and industrial partnership management, workforce support, and global enterprise governance.

Mr. Barnes is a certified Cryptologic Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. In 2020, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by University of Maryland’s College of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, a Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the NSA Ann Caracristi Award for Operations & Production Excellence, and multiple Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards.

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Ben Buchanan
Special Advisor on Artificial Intelligence, The White House

Read about Ben Buchanan

Ben Buchanan is the White House Special Advisor on Artificial Intelligence. Previously, he served as a Director for Technology and National Security at the National Security Council. He is on leave from his professorship at Georgetown University, and is the author of three books on AI, cybersecurity, and national security.

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Jane Horvath
Partner, Gibson Dunn

Read about Jane Horvath

Jane has more than a decade of information privacy and cybersecurity experience.  In January, 2023, Jane joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as co-chair of the Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Innovation practice. Until November 1, 2022 Jane was the Chief Privacy Officer at Apple. She had been with the company since September of 2011. At Apple she was responsible for overseeing Apple’s compliance with global privacy laws as well as working internally and externally on developing issues related to privacy and cybersecurity. Prior to Apple, Jane was Global Privacy Counsel at Google and, before that, served as the DOJ’s first Chief Privacy Counsel and Civil Liberties Officer. Prior to the DOJ, she also was Assistant General Counsel at AOL, where she helped draft the company’s first privacy policies.  Jane holds a Bachelor of Science from the College of William and Mary and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia.

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Govind Shivkumar
Director, Responsible Technology, Omidyar Network

Read about Govind Shivkumar

Govind Shivkumar is the Director of Omidyar Network’s Responsible Technology program, focusing on governance and future-proofing technology for an open internet. His expertise includes Open Source Software, Technical Standards, Cyber Security, Digital Public Goods, Internet Governance, Web3, and Generative AI. He helped found Digital Public Goods and Open Tech practice. Govind is a founding funder and Executive Committee member at MOSIP, and a founding funder at CoDevelop and helped found the Open Source Policy Network at Atlantic Council. He also advises the Global Cyber Alliance. Govind is also a Non-Resident Fellow in the Technology and International Affairs program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to Omidyar Network, Govind spent a decade in Investing and Capital Markets at LGT Group, Unitus Capital, and Citigroup. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and an alumnus of Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and University of Mumbai.

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Bobbie Stempfley
Vice President & Business Unit Security Officer, Dell Technologies

Read about Bobbie Stempfley

Bobbie Stempfley is a vice president and business unit security officer at Dell Technologies and a leader in the field of security and the use of technology to support the public’s interests. In her 20+ years of public service at DOD, DHS, CMU, and now at Dell Technologies, she has focused on strategy and driving transformation in organizations allowing her to develop an understanding of the exquisite possibilities at the crossroads of strategy, policy and technology. She serves on the board of the Center for Internet Security and serves as a nonresident senior fellow for the Cyber Statecraft Initiative under the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) at the Atlantic Council. Her passion is in increasing resilience through diversity and collaboration.

She has a B.S. in engineering mathematics from the University of Arizona and an M.S. in computer science from James Madison.

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Amanda Walker
Senior Director, Engineering – Security, Privacy, and Safety, Google

Read about Amanda Walker

Amanda is a well-known leader in the Security and Privacy Community, and was one of the early security and privacy pioneers at Google. Over the course of her 13+ year career at Google, she built some of the key systems, teams and initiatives in the Security and Privacy areas that we depend on today. Amanda began at Google in 2006, left in 2019 for Nuna, a health care startup where she was the VP of  Engineering.

Amanda returned to Google in 2022 to lead and unify the Privacy & Security research teams (one of which she founded) into a single organization.

Amanda is based in Reston, Virginia.

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Jonathan W. Welburn
Senior Researcher, RAND Corporation

Read about Jonathan Welburn

Jonathan Welburn, PhD, is a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation and faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work leverages methods from operations research, computational economics, decision and risk analysis to elucidate emerging systemic risks and the potential for market failures. Along these themes, Welburn’s recent research has including efforts to model large interfirm networks, expose systemic cyber risks, identify potentially systemically important entities, and elucidate potential market mechanisms for enhancing cybersecurity. Welburn’s work at RAND has been sponsored by several federal agencies and published in RAND Reports, academic journals, and national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and the LA Times.

Aspen Digital Moderators

Katie D'Hondt Brooks's headshot. A person with medium-length wavy hair, wearing a sweater and earrings, smiles at the camera.

Katie D’Hondt Brooks
Director, Global Cybersecurity Policy, Aspen Digital

Read about Katie Brooks

Jonathan Welburn, PhD, is a researcher at the RAND Corporation and faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work leverages methods from operations research, computational economics, decision and risk analysis to elucidate emerging systemic risks and the potential for market failures. Along these themes, Welburn’s recent research has including efforts to model large interfirm networks, expose systemic cyber risks, identify potentially systemically important entities, and elucidate potential market mechanisms for enhancing cybersecurity. Welburn’s work at RAND has been sponsored by several federal agencies and published in RAND Reports, academic journals, and national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and the LA Times.

Jeff Greene's headshot. A person with short hair, wearing glasses, a jacket, and a tie, is in front of a bookshelf and American flag, smiling at the camera.

Jeff Greene
Senior Director, Cybersecurity Programs, Aspen Digital

Read about Jeff Greene

Jeff Greene is the Senior Director for Cybersecurity Programs at the Aspen Institute.  Jeff joined Aspen in July of 2022 from the White House, where he served as the Chief for Cyber Response & Policy in the National Security Council’s Cyber Directorate.  Jeff led the NSC’s defensive cyber and incident response efforts, and his team developed and drafted Executive Order 14028 (Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity).  Jeff also ran the White House counter-ransomware effort and oversaw the whole-of-government effort to harden the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure in advance of Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine.

Jeff previously served as Director of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  Prior to joining NIST he was the Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Policy at Symantec, where he led a global team of policy experts.  While at Symantec Jeff also served as an appointed member of NIST’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board and was a special government employee working on President Obama’s 2016 Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.  Before Symantec Jeff worked on both the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees, was Counsel to the Senate’s Special Investigation into Hurricane Katrina, and practiced law at a large Washington, D.C. firm.

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Yameen Huq
Director, US Cybersecurity Group, Aspen Digital

Read about Yameen Huq

Yameen Huq joined Aspen Digital in August 2023 and leads initiatives in addressing challenges within US Cybersecurity. Prior to joining Aspen Digital, Yameen worked as the Director of Data & Analytics at N2K Networks, Inc., a workforce development and media company known for the podcasts CyberWire Daily and HackingHumans. Under that role, he led a team that built strategic reports across multiple business functions as well as a workforce assessment service offering that provides training roadmaps to clients based on talent gaps in their workforce.

He also previously worked as a Manager in the Data & Analytics and Cybersecurity practices at Ernst & Young, LLP. where he led strategic cybersecurity assessments and analytics implementations at Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. During this time, he also worked as a Deputy Data Director for the 2020 Presidential and Senate campaign in Arizona where he developed metrics and reporting to optimize voter outreach.

He holds an MS in Cybersecurity, a BS in Economics, and a BS in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Arlington, VA.