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Security execs voice concern over Trump travel ban

Maria Korolov | Feb. 1, 2017
Senior security industry professionals weigh in on the implications of the travel ban imposed this weekend by President Trump

"The more we constrict and insulate ourselves from the world, the less likely our allies are going to cooperate with us, including on things like law enforcement actions," said Anup Ghosh, founder and CEO at Fairvax, Vir.-based Invincea, Inc.

Spur more cyber attacks

The ban, instead of reducing risk, may actually provide more motivation for attacks -- including for cyber attacks.

"We've already seen attacks by Iran on banks," said Ghosh. "So I don't think it will be shocking if we see more attacks coming from Iran."

And it's not just that country, he added.

"If we're signaling to the rest of the world that we're unwilling to help with the refugee crisis and we're going to wage a war against religion, then we can expect more attacks against our critical infrastructure," he said.

On a positive note, the seven countries targeted by the ban are not particularly known for their technology infrastructure, said Dave Dufour, senior director of engineering at Broomfield, Colo.-based Webroot Inc.

The likelihood of a criminal moving to one of these locations to avoid capture is minimal, he said. "Frankly, there are much better choices in terms of countries without extradition to the U.S. to set up shop."

There are also other factors that will limit the potential impact of the ban, he added.

"The talent pool for cyber-savvy technical folks won’t shrink extensively based on the seven countries in the ban," he said. "There is still a significant pool available from the remaining 188 countries in the world. There is a more human aspect to consider in that potentially qualified individuals won’t have access to jobs or training available in the U.S., but they could look to Eastern and Western Europe or Asia for those opportunities."

And most technology organizations aren't planning to host conferences in those countries, he added. "So that isn't a huge issue."

Business operations in those countries were already being restricted, even before the ban, said Philip Lieberman, president at Los Angeles-based Lieberman Software Corp.

"The countries on the travel ban list have been on the long term prohibited list, for decades," he said. "The venomous relations between the US and these countries goes back a very long time and both sides of the table have substantial issues with each other."


A spokeswoman for the RSA Conference has confirmed that the organization has seen no impact on registration as a result of the recent travel ban.


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