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Mission…Possible – Robert Hannigan

Robert Hannigan was Director of GCHQ, the UK government’s largest intelligence and cyber agency, from 2014-17 was interviewed alongside Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency by David Ignatius, Associate Editor and Columnist, The Washington Post at the Aspen Security Forum.

Mission...Possible - Robert Hannigan

In the session entitled ‘Mission Possible’ Admiral Rogers and Robert Hannigan explain how they go about accomplishing their mission impossible. The Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency has never been busier with the perennial intelligence task of trying to distinguish the signal from the noise. Adding to the challenge are cyber threats from nation states and non-state actors that are unprecedented in their scale and sophistication. The pace of change in security over the past 10 years and the rate at which they expect change to continue.

Robert Hannigan goes on to describe the relationship between US technology companies and intelligence agencies, having been known for recognising the initially difficult relations between the two. At the initial stages of his role as Director of GCHQ, Robert wrote for the Financial Times, stating the need for a new, better relationship. Years on, he states that tech companies are now becoming more helpful in assisting intelligence agencies with cyber security, as well as new legislation that is contributing to a “more sensible” cyber security climate.

Robert Hannigan (keynote speaker) discusses the new operational arm of GCHQ, the National Cyber Security Centre, in the UK. He describes the centre as being “driven by people and data” with a mission that attracts the best cyber security talent. Finishing by explaining the critical importance of fusing the data available, open-source, in the private sector, with the skill of intelligence agencies.

Watch the interview in full below.  For more information on Robert Hannigan, get in touch here