After it was learned that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would not be appointed for the coveted Secretary of State position in Donald Trump's new administration, Giuliani bowed before the curtain and left the world stage. Giuliani has resurfaced in cybersecurity news as the president-elect's head advisor in the administration's cybersecurity advisory group.
How did the American public greet the news of Giuliani heading a cybersecurity task force? With jokes and disbelief. It's easy to say that the only reason people are against Giuliani heading the cybersecurity group is because of ageism. This isn't exactly true.
Upon hearing the news of Giuliani's not-so-formal (he'll have no title in the administration) appointment, cybersecurity professionals immediately called into question Giuliani's security and crisis management consultancy, Giuliani Partners.
Founded in 2002, Giuliani Partners is a global cybersecurity and consulting firm. Its' mission states that the firm is "dedicated to helping leaders solve critical strategic issues, accelerate growth and enhance the reputation and brand of their organizations in the context of strongly held values...based on six fundamental principles: Integrity, Optimism, Courage, Preparedness, Communication, Accountability."
If you clicked on the link above to get to the company website, you'll have noticed you were taken to a Wikipedia page. That's because the Giuliani Partners company website has gone dark, it cannot be found.
It's Not About Age, It's About Experience
When it was announced that Giuliani would be serving the administration in a role with cybersecurity, industry professionals immediately responded by pointing out the flaws in Giuliani's own cybersecurity firm's security. According to Fortune Magazine, cybersecurity professionals vetted the site and found that it "had glaring vulnerabilities." Fortune reports that the "site featured little in the way of fortification: an expired cryptographic certification, lack of encryption, an exposed remote login, outdated software and scripting languages, open server ports and [...] Adobe Flash, a notoriously insecure bit of software." Experts argue that because Giuliani's own cybersecurity website is ripe for cyber picking, Americans should at least question prudence of this appointment. Can we trust that he will take the post seriously?
It is expected that Trump will have meetings with Giuliani and the cybersecurity advisory group he will head along with other business executives about concerns related to hacking and data security.
With the Giuliani Partners website down as of the writing of this article, talk is spreading that the website may have already been hit by a cybercriminal. This is speculation and has not been verified. Giuliani's firm could be making changes and updates to the website so that it is safe to access and use for site visitors. This last statement too however, is merely speculation.
To be fair, on the campaign trial neither presidential nominee had much to say about cybersecurity. When asked about it in debates they both answered that it was a serious issue.
Now that Trump is taking office, his seeming lack of understanding about cybersecurity and his cybersecurity appointments is cause for concern. Remember that Trump Hotels came under cyberattack and the Trump corporation did not change its security features or tell customers about the security breach.
What can Americans expect from the new administration? Is data safe? One thing you can do: make sure your business has the coverage it would need after a cyberattack. Visit CyberPolicy today.