By most accounts, last year’s Democratic National Convention was a rousing success. And at least some small part of that is owing to Rusty Agee’s progressive approach to incident response.
Not a politician or an event organiser, Agee is instead the information security engineer for the US city of Charlotte, where the convention was held in early September 2012.
A high-profile national forum, the DNC undoubtedly would have been a major target for hackers of all stripes, and yet the event went through with nary a major reported cyber security breach. With support from the city’s IR vendor, Agee says that if a major attack had occurred, the IT team was ready.
“We haven’t had any significant incidents to speak of for quite some time,” Agee says, conceding that the city still deals with the routine infected machines and malware outbreaks. “When I was first doing security, we all worried about someone hacking into the network. But over the last few years, the industry as a whole has come to realise that you have the threat of [people] trying to hack in, and it’s a lot easier for users on the network to make mistakes…It’s caused us all to be a lot more proactive.”