Joel Brenner

Former National Counterintelligence Executive and Author of America the Vulnerable
Joel Brenner
  • Former senior counsel and inspector general of the NSA
  • Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies
  • Expert voice on cyber and physical security, data protection, intelligence law and more
  • Discusses the new security environment and its implications for organizations

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Joel Brenner is the author of the book, America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare, available in paperback as Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World. He is an expert on cyber security and cyber privacy and can provide insight and practical strategies for businesses.

We live in an age of unprecedented transparency. If finding information is your goal, this is a golden age of transparency. If personal privacy or organizational secrecy is your goal, this is an era of constant threat and frequent calamity. We are losing information about ourselves – and businesses are losing valuable trade secrets and intellectual property – at a startling pace. As massive leaks have proven, our government is also being turned inside out. All this is happening for technological and cultural reasons that are difficult to control. Even more alarmingly, the vulnerability of our information systems produces operational vulnerabilities, because everything we do now runs on IT systems that are easily hacked. Financial systems, the electric grid, the water supply, air traffic control, and rail switches all operate on the same backbone that supports your company’s information system. If you can penetrate a system to steal information from it, you can penetrate the system to shut it down. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau, Brenner explains how this risky state of affairs came about and what you can – and can’t – do about it.

Security Background. Brenner is the former head of national counter intelligence for the director of national intelligence (DNI). He is also the former senior counsel and inspector general of the National Security Agency, where he was in charge of internal investigations, audit, and inspections in the world’s largest intelligence agency.

Brenner specializes in cyber security and physical security, data protection and privacy, intelligence law, the administration of classified information and facilities, and the regulation of sensitive cross-border transactions. He is the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies and has years of experience inside and outside government involving national and homeland security matters, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, known as CFIUS; the liability of foreign governments; export controls; securities regulations; and grand jury proceedings. He has also written about intelligence oversight, privacy, and Presidential authority to suspend or prohibit foreign takeovers of US firms. Brenner is often quoted in the national media on data security, privacy, and intelligence issues.

Brenner runs his own legal and consulting office in Washington, DC.

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Joel Brenner: America the Vulnerable

Cyber Security: How’d It Get So Bad—and Can We Do Anything About It? As one of the nation’s preeminent experts on counter intelligence and cyber security, Joel Brenner discusses the new security environment and its implications for organizations. Nowadays people can steal information without entering a building, walk out of an office with incredible amounts of information stored in tiny devices, or launch systematic attacks on intellectual property. Personal privacy, business secrets, and government secrets are all vulnerable. Cyber security is of the utmost importance to organizations looking to protect themselves. In a presentation that can be tailored to the expertise level of his audience, Brenner discusses internet security and provides insight and practical strategies for businesses on this complex issue.

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