Governance & Risk Management

'Swarming' Talent on InfoSec Challenges

MS-ISAC Leader Jane Holl Lute on Cybersecurity Cooperation
'Swarming' Talent on InfoSec Challenges
Jane Holl Lute (Source: Center for Internet Security)

Jane Holl Lute, the former Homeland Security deputy secretary who now leads the Center for Internet Security, envisions IT security professionals from various organizations "swarming" on a cybersecurity problem as a way, in part, to address the shortage of qualified security personnel organizations in and out of government face.

Facilitating swarming is a role the CIS, which operates the Multistate Information Sharing and Analysis Center - or MS-ISAC - intends to coordinate, says Lute, who earlier this year replaced MS-ISAC and CIS founder Will Pelgrin as chief executive officer.

"We want to be part of a solutions farm, where we can swarm talent on a problem and deal with it from a technical point of view, from a behavioral point of view, from an enterprise, adoption operation point of view, as well," Lute says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

In the interview, Lute:

  • Discusses how swarming would work. "It's like a hackathon; that's a version of swarming. You put a problem out there, and you attract talent to the problem, and you say, 'Let's swarm on this until we solve it.'"
  • Encourages American IT security professional to spend part of their careers working for the government. "You don't' have to make it your life's work but it should a must-stop hop as you make your way over the course of your professional life."
  • Explains the need to establish professional standards in order to grow the cybersecurity field. "The least we can insist on is that those whom we give the keys to kingdom ... we can have some confidence that their competence is in fact real and they can do things that are required."

The Center for Internet Security is a not-for-profit organization focused on enhancing cybersecurity readiness and response for the public and private sectors. Besides running MS-ISAC, CIS shepherds the 20 critical security controls as well as the U.S. Cyber Challenge, which holds competitions and camps to encourage cybersecurity careers (watch video: Searching for the Good Hacker). CIS also markets benchmarking tools.

As DHS deputy secretary, the department's chief operating officer, Lute oversaw the day-to-day management of the federal agency. Before joining DHS, Lute served as assistant secretary general at the United Nations, establishing the Department of Field Support, responsible for comprehensive on-the-ground support to UN peace operations.

Lute served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. An Army veteran, she served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Stanford University awarded Lute a Ph.D. in political science and she holds a law degree from Georgetown University.

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