Week in DC: Events

February 2, 2015

Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit & Training
Date: February 2, 8:00am
Location: The Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC

Conventional network defense tools such as intrusion detection systems and anti-virus focus on the vulnerability component of risk, and traditional incident response methodology presupposes a successful intrusion. An evolution in the goals and sophistication of computer network intrusions has rendered these approaches insufficient for the threats facing many modern networked organizations. Advanced adversaries accomplish their goals using advanced tools and techniques designed to circumvent most conventional computer network defense mechanisms and remain undetected in their intrusion efforts or presence on networks over long periods of time.

Network defense techniques which leverage knowledge about these adversaries – known as Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) – can enable defenders to establish a state of information superiority which decreases the adversary’s likelihood of success with each subsequent intrusion attempt. Threat intelligence can be a force multiplier as organizations look to update their security programs and defenses to deal with increasingly sophisticated advanced persistent threats. Security managers need accurate, timely and detailed information to continuously monitor new and evolving attacks, and methods to exploit this information in furtherance of an improved defensive posture. Make no mistake about it: contemporaneous computer network defense contains a strong element of intelligence and counterintelligence that analysts and managers alike must understand and leverage.

The goal of this summit will be to equip attendees with knowledge on the tools, methodologies and processes they need to move forward with cyber threat intelligence. The SANS What Works in Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit will bring attendees who are eager to hear this information and learn about tools, techniques, and solutions that can help address these needs.

The theme of the summit in 2015 focuses on specific analysis techniques and capabilities that can be used to properly create and maintain Cyber Threat Intelligence in your organization. Most organizations know what threat intelligence is, but have no real concept on how to create and produce proper intelligence. Attend this summit to learn and discuss directly with the experts who are doing the CTI analysis in their organizations. What you learn will help you detect and respond to some of the most sophisticated threats targeting your networks.

Please note, this is not a free event. Course and cost information can be found here.

The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression
Date: February 2, 2:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower), Washington DC

Waging an undeclared war in the Donbas region, Russia is pursuing a ruthless effort to destabilize Ukraine. Given the stakes for relations between Russia and the West, the outcome of the conflict is also likely to shape future developments in Europe and the world at large.

So how can the crisis be resolved?

Eight distinguished US foreign policy scholars and former practitioners, five of whom travelled to Ukraine and Brussels, have produced a report entitled “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do.”

The working group included Ivo Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Michele Flournoy, Chief Executive Officer, Center for a New American Security, John Herbst, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council,Jan Lodal, Distinguished Fellow and Former President, Atlantic Council,Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, James Stavridis, Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution, Charles Wald, Board Director, Atlantic Council.

In the report, the experts summarize what they heard in discussions at NATO and in Ukraine and offer specific recommendations for steps that Washington and NATO should take to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses and enhance its ability to deter further Kremlin aggression.

Register here to attend in person or watch live online here.

February 3, 2015

Fighting ISIS: News from the Front Lines in Kurdistan
Date: February 3, 10:00am
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 500, Washington DC

Aziz Reda, senior advisor to the President of Kurdistan and Mousa Ahmed Agha, deputy head, Barzani Charity Foundation will discuss this topic.

Register here.

“Yemen—If this is a policy success, what does failure look like?” with Ambassador Barbara Bodine
Date: February 3, 12:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, #270, 37th and O St NW, Washington DC

Last September, in announcing military operations against ISIS/ISIL, President Obama referred to Yemen as a US policy success, to the bafflement of many within and outside the country at the time. The jury was still out on our drone-dependent security/CT operations, the economy was in disarray and the political transition – a relative bright spot – was dimming. Recent events call the September judgment into even more question. What is really happening, and what does it mean for the US, the region, and the Yemenis?

Register here.

European Energy Security Challenges and Transatlantic Cooperation in 2015
Date: February 3, 1:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower), Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center for a public event featuring the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, on Tuesday, February 3 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council.

Commissioner Cañete is responsible for promoting diversity in the European Union’s energy needs and supplies and is working to establish a European Energy Union. As part of this, he is also tasked with ensuring that the EU achieves its climate and energy goals and further developing renewable energy.

At the Atlantic Council, Commissioner Cañete will focus on Europe’s energy security in a global context, and transatlantic cooperation on energy and climate issues.

Commissioner Cañete will be introduced by the Atlantic Council’s President and CEO, Frederick Kempe. After the Commissioner’s keynote speech, a discussion will follow between Commissioner Cañete and Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Council’s Global Energy Center. The discussion will be moderated by David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

Register here to attend in person or watch live online here.

February 4, 2015

U.S. Intelligence Community Surveillance One Year After President Obama’s Address
Date: February 4, 12:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

In January 2014, President Obama delivered a closely-watched speech addressing reforms to the surveillance and intelligence-gathering practices of the U.S. intelligence community including the National Security Agency (NSA). Debate surrounding surveillance has continued amid further releases of documents by the media and the intelligence community itself. Meanwhile, the Administration has been working to carry out the President’s directives and legal authority for certain surveillance programs due to expire in 2015.

On February 4, Governance Studies at Brookings will examine what has been done to implement the directives announced in President Obama’s January 2014 speech and their subsequent implications on privacy, civil liberties, competitiveness, and security. The conversation will focus on questions raised by the implementation of these reforms and changes to how the U.S. intelligence community conducts surveillance.

After the program, speakers will take audience questions.

Register here to attend in person or register here to watch online.

Russia/Eurasia Forum: Back in the USSR
Date: February 4, 12:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Michael David-Fox, professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University will discuss the continuities and discontinuities in contemporary Russian history.

To register, email here. 

Countering Violent Extremism: Improving Our Strategy for the Future
Date: February 4, 2:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The recent deadly attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the Jewish market in Paris were sharp reminders of the continuing threat of violent extremism in the West. With similar attacks in Ottawa and Sydney, and a concerning number of Westerners moved to fight in Syria, preventing acts of violence by extremists has become a top priority. To help the United States and its allies move forward, the White House announced that it will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18.

On February 4, the Brookings Institution will host a discussion on the state of U.S. efforts to counter violent extremism and possible counterterrorism strategies for the future. Bringing together a panel of experts on counterterrorism and radicalization, the conversation will raise questions about the efficacy of the current U.S. approach, successful practices of counterterrorism programs both domestically and abroad, and strategies for countering violent extremism going forward.

Following the discussion, the panelists will take questions from the audience.

Register here.

Separate and Divisible: North Korea’s Supreme Leader and the North Korean People
Date: February 4, 3:00pm
Location: Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC

Mr. Jang Jin-sung, former North Korean propaganda poet, will address the role of propaganda in North Korea’s statecraft. Mr. Jang will also provide instruction on how to interpret North Korean propaganda. His presentation will also address the role of official propaganda as a shield insulating ordinary people from North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Register here.

February 6, 2015

2015 Transatlantic Policy Symposium: Beyond Tariffs: Trade Relations and the Transatlantic Relationship in the 21st Century
Date: February 6, 8:15am
Location: Georgetown University, Copley Formal Lounge, 3700 O Street, Washington DC

Mega-regional trade agreements have dominated the recent international trade discourse. While the discussion of trade impacts tends to focus on technical details and regulation, trade agreements can produce widespread, and often unforeseen, effects on domestic economies, international relations and politics, security, as well as culture and identity.

Join our graduate student and expert panelists as they discuss and explore the implications of trade relations between the U.S. and Europe.

Register here.

China’s Rise: Implications for U.S. National Security and the Defense Budget
Date: February 6, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

China’s rise constitutes one of the great historical events of our time, and its implications for U.S. national security strategy and the U.S. defense budget remain key issues in Washington, as they surely will well into the future. Critical areas to explore include progress that China has made and challenges it has encountered in its economic and military development, as well as the effects of its rise on the region. These changes will likely have ramifications for the United States and its military, as President Obama’s “rebalance” strategy moves into its fourth year.

On February 6, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI) will host a discussion comprised of a group with expertise ranging from regional security matters to U.S. military policy to China’s economy. Panelists include Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies Director Richard Bush, Bernard Cole of the National War College, and David Dollar, senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings. Michael O’Hanlon, co-director of 21CSI, will moderate the discussion.

Following discussion, panelists will take audience questions.

Register here.

February 7, 2015

Inside Media: Journalists Under Threat
Date: February 7, 2:30pm
Location: Newseum, Knight TV Studio, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, talks about his new book, “The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom.”

The book examines how journalists are increasingly vulnerable to attack by authoritarian governments, militants, criminals and terrorists, who all seek to use technology, political pressure and violence to set the global information agenda.

Simon has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including The New York TimesThe Washington PostColumbia Journalism Review, The New York Review and Slate, and is featured regularly on NPR, BBC and CNN.

A book signing will follow the program.

Free with Newseum admission. Seating is on a space-available basis.

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