A National Threat

Speaking at Legalweek New York 2018, former US Secretary of Homeland Security and former General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense Jeh Johnson offered a direct assessment as to the greatest current risk to national security. As part of his keynote address, he observed "I'd have to say cyber threats are the No. 1 threat to our nation…. It's not just a threat. It's a daily ongoing, minute by minute, hour by hour, series of attacks. There have been cyberattacks on the homeland since I walked into this room an hour ago." Talking of the challenges of cybersecurity during his time at the DHS, Johnson noted "It's always easier to be on offense than defense," describing the DHS as "always the goalie trying to block the shots."

Johnson's comments were not limited only to national affairs, as he also offered some words toward law firms, saying that law firms that had chosen to invest in security were generally "pretty good" at it, while also noting the potential gaps. "Security of an information system, of our email, is only as good as its weakest link," says Johnson. "The most devastating cyberattacks by the most sophisticated actors often occur through a simple act of spear phishing," and that "Educating those who use our systems about the evils of spear phishing can go a long way. I've seen it myself."