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Video interview with Jeanette Manfra, Deputy Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Cyber

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What is your advice to states and companies in the area of cyber‑security? 

Jeanette Manfra: I think my first piece of advice is that we need to understand what we need to protect the most. So that means people need to spend time and understand what matters most to your business, to your government, or to you as an individual. You need to ensure that you are deploying the resources to adequately protect those assets.

In a digitized world, there is no 100 percent security. Is the risk not too high? 

Jeanette Manfra: I don't think so. I think in any society, it's not a risk‑free world and the benefits that the development of the Internet has accrued for much of our countries has been great; and we need to preserve that. So we need to ensure that we are both understanding the risks as a society, as a global society, as individual countries, that we are able to have that conversation about tradeoffs between security on the Internet and security physically or security versus privacy. Those are all very important conversations to have, and we need to have that as a society. That includes citizens, governments, and companies.

We have seen in history very developed societies which then disappeared completely and all the information they had was gone. Are we on the same wave with digitization? 

Jeanette Manfra: I don't believe so. I believe that it is something to be concerned about and I think the benefits of digitization are phenomenal, but we also need to ensure that we have all the appropriate backups, if you will, so that we can evolve as societies and take full advantage of the technologies that are available to us but that we are also able to preserve that knowledge that our societies have accrued.

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