FBI Director Christopher Wray: ‘Todays cybersecurity threat is bigger than government itself’

Top Federal Bureau of Investigation official calls for greater public-private partnership to fight back increasingly sophisticated adversaries and attacks. SAN FRANCISCO Christopher Wray, the director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, struck a cautious tone on Tuesday morning here at RSA 2019 and he called for more cooperation to tackle the cybersecurity problem.Todays cyberthreat is bigger than any one government agency in fact its bigger than the government itself, Wray said. The scope, breadth, depth, sophistication and diversity of the threat we face now is unlike anything weve had in our lifetimes.Wray pointed to multinationals, criminal organizations, hacktavists, insider threats, China and North Korea all as among the most pressing issues as well as the blended threat of foreign intelligence units enlisting the help of hackers.He said that cyber, perhaps more than any other area, is where public-private cooperation is needed for everyones sake.The key is having the private sector start to form relationships with field offices because its not just prevention but in many cases its mitigation and thats where speed really matters, Wray explained. Having an existing relationship, in turn, will help with that speed.Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Susan Hennessey pressed Wray on the thorny issue of cooperating with the FBI in the wake of its incident with Apple. After Apple refused to grant the FBI access to San Bernandino shooter Syed Rizwan Farooks iPhone in 2015 and the Bureau reportedly worked with a third-party to crack the phone anyway a move that experts said demonstrated that even encrypted data is not entirely safe from nefarious actors.

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