Saturday, June 10

The woman who protects the US from a cyber attack

ANDn electronic warfare it is easier to attack than to defend: it is enough for an attacker to succeed once; a defender must always be successful”, warns Anne Neuberger (from New York and 46 years old). US President Joe Biden has so much confidence in her that in January 2021 he created a new position for her to have access to the Oval Office: National Security Delegate for Cyber ​​and Emerging Technologies. Biden needed someone to coordinate US electronic espionage, weighed down by the bureaucratic labyrinth of agencies that collaborate and often compete with each other: CIA, FBI or the National Security Agency (NSA), attached to the Pentagon, where Neuberger had been climbing from 2009 until becoming director of Cybersecurity. At the operational level, her tasks are similar to those of the Armed Forces Cyber ​​Command in the military field, but focused on federal agencies and industry, as well as relations with allied countries.

In the world of intelligence, she is considered an expert in risk management. “The more brains you put to work on a problem, the more likely you are to solve it. On the other hand, each additional person adds a risk. It is very difficult to find a balance », she explains. But her great ability is to oppose the mainstream without raising her voice. She did it at the NSA, which she helped rescue from the debacle of the clandestine electronic surveillance program scandal. And she before she also did it in her private life. Neuberger defied her own destiny: that of a Jewish girl raised in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood who was only expected to take care of her house and her two children. But the current challenge is the most serious that any US cyber defense official has ever faced. The hackers The Russians, who already interfered in the elections that Trump won in 2016, start with an advantage. In 2020 they managed to infiltrate SolarWinds, a provider of software both from the Administration (Pentagon, State Department, Treasury…) and from the big technology companies, such as Microsoft or Intel. Neuberger was charged with the mission of closing the doors they opened. Now he must make sure that something similar does not happen again.

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