Will Trump’s Cybersecurity Czar Cost Direct Response?

by Bill McClellan on Mar 1, 2017 3:00:00 PM FTC, Government Relations

Greetings from Puerto Rico! I am currently conferencing here in San Juan at the Caribe Hilton for ERA’s signature Great Ideas Summit 2017.  If you couldn’t make the trip we are sending you good vibes and sunshine and hope you can be with us next time.


Preparing for this trip, a headline caught my eye on the big changes in store with the executive order President Trump recently signed on cybersecurity. While it primarily focuses on cyber issues in government, it also asks the commerce secretary to figure out ways to push the private sector into “accelerating investments in cybersecurity tools, services and software.”  That sounds a lot like it might cost you big money and pretty soon.

Trump’s Cybersecurity Czar

Rudolph W. Giuliani (Rudy), the former mayor of New York City, has been recruited as White House cybersecurity advisor. He will be tasked with conducting meetings with President Trump and corporate executives facing cyberthreats.  The administration sees this role as a logical extension of Mr. Giuliani’s efforts at his cybersecurity firm Giuliani Partners.  

Rudy believes the private sector needs to “wake up” and “do more”.  He believes that the private sector and the government should work together on cyber issues.  The plan is to have President Trump speak out and hold regular meetings to get the attention of the business community.  So expect to see the President use his bully pulpit and twitter account to prod companies into action to do more on cybersecurity issues.

Be Prepared Before the Presidential Tweet

In the current environment, it’s a good idea to be prepared in advance before you catch the eye of those in power. No one wants to receive the ire of a late night presidential tweet.  While Cyber Security covers a wide range of issues our industry historically has encountered problems with regulatory compliance on privacy issues, data loss and theft from hackers.  Also, I have personally heard some stories of phishing/social engineering attacks that have led to problems recently.

So what can you do to get ahead of the game? First be sure to engage your legal representation to do a cybersecurity audit of your operations. Also, here is a great FTC consumer privacy resource you can have your team monitor and review on the latest privacy developments.  The FTC also has tips for business that you can use to further secure your company data.  As the saying goes – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Talk to your team today and plan on following cybersecurity issues as they develop.  This is a hot button issue for the President and his team and I don’t think it will be going away anytime soon.



Bill McClellan joined 
ERA in January 2003 as director of government affairs. Prior to joining the association, Bill worked as a lobbyist at the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association, covering the state legislature and Georgia's congressional delegation. Before working for the GADA, Bill managed political campaigns at both the congressional and state constitutional levels  

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