Of all the ways to take the current pulse of the cybersecurity community and understand their most important concerns at any moment, one of the simplest and most common is to ask, “What keeps you awake at night?” In part three of this video series we recently launched, I give my answer to this question.
My response highlights an enduring paradox of the way we use the public internet today: It was never originally designed to be a completely secure and validated environment, and every effort since to make it one has been (at best) an adaptation. Yet despite this fact, so many companies and organizations make far too much of their data and information systems easily accessible to that inherently less secure ecosystem – sometimes deliberately after due reflection, but often without sufficient consideration of their vulnerability to the online “threatscape.” And as those threats continue to evolve and multiply, the overall risk to business operations is growing at a rate for which most users are probably woefully unprepared.
For this reason, among others, we at Syniverse believe the companies that want to do business and transfer data with certainty, security and privacy should not be relying on the public internet. Instead, businesses must integrate the use of a private, isolated network as a way to communicate and transact at speed and scale, while still protecting their data and authenticating their processes to a best-in-class level.
As Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Risk Officer, Phil Celestini leads security and risk management across Syniverse, including adopting new technologies and building industry awareness of critical threats and opportunities arising from such areas as the internet of things, 5G, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. With a career spanning more than 35 years across government, law enforcement, and the military, Phil brings extensive executive leadership experience in security, risk, and compliance. From 1992 to 2018, he served as a Special Agent in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was most recently Special Agent in Charge in Washington, D.C., and where he also served as the FBI’s senior representative to the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command among other roles. In addition to his investigative acumen, Phil is an acknowledged expert in cyber and information security. He earned several commendations and community honors as FBI Special Agent, serving in positions of increasing leadership responsibility in numerous field offices, FBI headquarters, and on the National Security and Homeland Security Councils at the White House. Prior to his FBI career, he served as an intelligence operations officer in the U.S. Air Force. He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in public safety leadership from Capella University.