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Public Policy

Cybersecurity: Our Shared Responsibility

Author: Jeff Wirtzfeld, Director, Public Policy & Federal Legislative Affairs
Nov. 8, 2017

Throughout October, CenturyLink was active in supporting National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. As a wrap up, I would like to address how we participated in this 13-year-old tradition, with our theme “Our Shared Responsibility.”

It is through our partnerships with local, state, federal, and international organizations that we bring both technical and policy expertise to create an environment that allows public and private entities to protect critical data and infrastructure.

This shared responsibility is that all of us - governments, infrastructure providers, edge providers, and end user customers - have a role to play in fighting against cyber warfare. What that means is that we cannot simply rely on IT professionals to bear the burden alone, as all of us have a responsibility to understand the threats and learn how to protect ourselves.

As an example of how CenturyLink partners with others, our SVP for Cybersecurity and Tech Services Bill Bradley spoke at the NATO Information Assurance Symposium in Mons, Belgium in October. His message highlighted the importance of optimizing partnerships and used recent events to illustrate how we are essentially defending against cyber warfare. As a major provider of business, network and internet services for virtually all market sectors, we see attacks regularly that disrupt business and personal accounts as well as attacks on critical infrastructure worldwide…and regrettably, there is no end in sight. 

Here are four ways CenturyLink is partnering to protect the digital economy:

OnePartnerships with Government. CenturyLink serves in many national and state leadership roles where we work closely with government cyber officials and jointly respond to cybersecurity attacks and collaborate on cybersecurity readiness.

A few of our partnerships and collaborations include:

  • The President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Council
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Integrations Center
  • A trusted mission provider to federal departments, such as the Department of Defense
  • National Governor’s Association Cybersecurity Policy academy corporate partner

TwoCustomer Collaboration.  CenturyLink works to understand unique customer needs, providing them with cybersecurity protections through innovative solutions.   For example, cyber solutions such as our Einstein 3 Accelerated cybersecurity program help protect federal government agencies from malicious incoming Internet traffic.

Three - Partnerships with Industry CenturyLink works in partnership with select cybersecurity solutions providers who have expertise that complement our own capabilities. Where we do not have expertise or resources in a specific area, we will collaborate with our trusted partners.

Four - Educational Partnerships.  CenturyLink is partnering with universities and curriculum providers to address the national talent shortage for cyber security skills that will be needed to protect our digital ecosystem.  We are investing in STEM education programs, internships, and policy development with elected officials and educational institutions designed to develop the talent that is needed for our future workforce.

CenturyLink makes it a practice to collaborate on solutions to the ever-evolving threats to our critical infrastructure and data.  In the end, we view cybersecurity not only as a job, but also as an obligation to protect society. The partnerships that we build today and in the future, will bring together policies, strategies, products and services to address cybersecurity challenges.

For more information on Bradley’s speech to NATO and CenturyLink’s commitment to cybersecurity, click here.