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Samantha Ravich | September 23, 2019


More event photos can be found on the AGS Facebook page.

Summary by Rebecca DiLuzio:

On September 23, Dr. Samantha Ravich visited Duke on behalf of the AGS program to talk about cybersecurity and Israel’s strategic partnership with the United States. Dr. Ravich is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) who serves as the chairman of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation and the principal investigator on FDD’s Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare project. She was also appointed to the congressionally-mandated Cyberspace Solarium Commission and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB).

Ravich’s talk focused primarily on the implications of cyber warfare on the U.S. economy. She expressed concerns about our ability as a nation to recover and reconstitute in the aftermath of a serious cyber attack given all of the critical infrastructure that is in the hands of the private sector. As a solution, she proposed a “Continuity of the Economy (COTE)” plan whereby the government works with the private sector to prioritize certain critical entities over others in the event of a national cyber emergency.

On the U.S.-Israel relationship, Ravich stressed that the U.S. should continue to use Israel as an ally in  cyberspace, particularly given Israeli expertise in technology and cybersecurity. However, she acknowledged that at times, Israeli objectives in cyberspace may clash with those of the U.S. A potential clash of this kind can be seen in the current debate surrounding the Chinese telecommunications firm, Huawei: while the White House has severely restricted American companies from doing business with Huawei over fears of cybersecurity risks, other nation-states like Israel may consider opposite courses of action. As Ravich explained, differing beliefs and policies in cyberspace can thus have a ripple effect on nation-state relationships as a whole, especially when it comes to intelligence cooperation.