Home News State-sponsored attacks “from China” hindering COVID-19 vaccine development: Bryan Ware

State-sponsored attacks “from China” hindering COVID-19 vaccine development: Bryan Ware

Fireside Chat CISA

CISO MAG hosted its fourth webinar in its Fireside Chat series with Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, Ware leads CISA’s mission of protecting and strengthening the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber threats. A slew of cybersecurity experts comprising of CEOs, CISOs. CIOs, Vice Presidents, and executives from countries like the U.S., U.K, Canada, Cambodia and even regions like Panama attended the webinar. The latest Fireside Chat series stressed on the impact of COVID-19 with the topic “CISA and cybersecurity in times of a Pandemic.” The Fireside Chat held on May 20, 2020, was moderated by Brian Pereira, Principal Editor of CISO MAG.

Over the past few months, malicious cyber actors have tried to exploit COVID-19 fears to deliver malicious software and steal data. CISA has relied on a well-established and trusted collaboration with private industry and government partners both in the U.S. and internationally, to reinforce, refine and resonate defensive cybersecurity technologies and capabilities for businesses, government and public. Bryan Ware started the webinar by elaborating on the role of CISA and how the key body has been convening several industries and sectors for seamless functionality. “CISA is instrumental in cross-cutting several sectors by coordinating and communicating with them across several verticals.”

He also highlighted how prioritization changes under different times and scenarios. “Earlier one of the core focus areas of CISA was aviation, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of things changed. Now cyber risks on aviation is not as important as the impact of cyber risks on the supply chain for food, PPE kits, etc. CISA always proactively engages with industries with its risk profile.”

Commenting more on the Coronavirus related attacks, he opined that there has been a shift in the attack surfaces. “From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several scams targeting the healthcare sector. A lot of campaigns have also exploited the pandemic but launching several phishing and ransomware attacks. But the thing that worries CISA and the FBI the most is the increasing number of state-sponsored attacks originating from China. These are attacks aimed at espionage on COVID-19 vaccine development. It is not the first time that China has been involved in corporate espionage, but these new attacks are hindering vaccine development in the U.S.”

During the webinar the audience also took part two snap polls following which Bryan later took questions from the audience: You can see the results of the snap polls here:

Ware has served as the DHS Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure, and Resilience Policy. In this role, Ware was responsible for leading DHS policy development in support of department-wide efforts to reduce national risks with a focus on critical infrastructure cybersecurity, federal network security, countering cyber-crime, and improving the security and resilience of the global cyber ecosystem, as well as national resilience initiatives that enhance Federal, State and local government and community preparedness and response capabilities.

Following the webinar, five lucky attendees who tweeted about the webinar won a one-year subscription of CISO MAG.

The next Fireside chat on the topic “Cybersecurity in the Times of Crises” will be held on June 17, 2020, with Ajay Kumar, Director, Solutions Engineering, BeyondTrust.

Register for the next webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5005617252476549902

Through the Fireside Chat series, CISO MAG will be partnering with industry experts and solution providers from across the world to host similar webinars thrice a month to discuss some of the pressing issues and trends in the cybersecurity. Stay tuned.


CISO MAG is a publication from EC-Council, which provides unbiased and useful information to the professionals working to secure critical sectors. The information security magazine includes news, comprehensive analysis, cutting-edge features, and contributions from thought leaders, that are nothing like the ordinary. Within the first year of launch, the magazine reached a global readership of over 50,000 readers. The magazine also has an Editorial Advisory Board that comprises some of the foremost innovators and thought leaders in the cybersecurity space. Apart from this, CISO MAG also presents a platform that reach out to the cybersecurity professionals across the globe through its Summits and Awards and Power List surveys.

About EC-Council

EC-Council, officially incorporated as the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants was formed to create information security training and certification programs to help the very community our connected economy would rely on to save them from a devastating Cyberattack. EC-Council rapidly gained the support of top researchers and subject matter experts around the world and launched its first Information Security Program, the Certified Ethical Hacker. With this ever-growing team of subject matter experts and InfoSec researchers, EC-Council continued to build various standards, certifications and training programs in the electronic commerce and information security space, becoming the largest cybersecurity certification body in the world.