FBI Special Agent in Cyber Branch Previews his Keynote Address - Argyle Executive Forum Events
Enrique Alvarez

Note: This article is a summary of interview questions. Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity by Anthony Chatfield, Argyle Editorial Team. 

Enrique Alvarez, a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Branch, will deliver a Keynote Presentation at the Cybersecurity Leadership Forum on July 23, 2020 on how companies can build and maximize a relationship with the FBI to assist in cybersecurity.

The session will touch on the importance of working with the FBI to help prevent, identify, and report cyber threats and attacks at all levels, and the benefits of cultivating such a relationship at the organizational level. Attendees will learn how to best utilize the FBI’s existing cybersecurity infrastructure and resources, the specific areas in which the FBI can help with response, and the contacts they should have on file when an issue arises. 

Alvarez on his upcoming presentation and the challenges that he sees CIOs and cybersecurity professionals facing today shared that “the FBI’s Cyber Program depends on a collaborative, information-sharing centric partnership with the private sector – a model where information flows both directions. The FBI remains committed to the identification, pursuit, and defeat of malicious cyber actors and groups.”

Among the technology issues senior security professionals struggle with, Alvarez highlighted the “implementation and execution of comprehensive SIEM, log management, and network/endpoint detection solution.” To address these issues, Alvarez recommends “Setting realistic goals for threat management depends greatly on company size and function. An incremental approach that is linked over time often works better than trying to implement an enterprise-wide solution from the ground up.”

In particular, Alvarez recommends that companies “focus on user education, especially if budgets are limited. Our casework shows most intrusions result directly from user-initiated actions. Having a threat-savvy workforce makes it harder for determined cyber actors to find  success.” A blended approach to culture and process allows organizations to implement a stronger foundation that supports cybersecurity efforts, rather than patching problems as they occur. 

Moving into 2020, Alvarez recommends that companies focus on traditional threats that remain highly effective because of their focus on individual users. “FBI cyber intrusion case data show overwhelmingly that simple techniques such as credential theft and spear phishing remain the go-to tool for cyber actors, regardless of sophistication, but it often works. To that end, user training and endpoint detection will remain critical.
Learn more about the current state of cybersecurity, how the FBI is approaching current and emerging threats, and the resources you can leverage for your organization. Reserve your place at the Cybersecurity Leadership Forum on July 23, 2020.

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's Argyle Digital: CIO Leadership Forum 2020 in Virtual Forum, on July 07, 2020