Giuliani Tapped as Trump’s Cybersecurity Guru

Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...

By Jimmy H. Koo

Former N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s federal prosecutor experience may be helpful in his new role providing private sector cybersecurity advice to President-elect Donald Trump, cybersecurity attorneys told Bloomberg BNA.

Companies may benefit because Giuliani, who Trump named Jan. 12 as his lead private sector cybersecurity adviser, has a background that will help “recognize patterns and techniques” used by bad actors to gain access to various types of information,” James H. Koenig, of counsel in the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice at Paul Hastings LLP in New York, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 12

Giuliani will be “sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector,” Trump’s transition team said in a Jan. 12 statement.

Koenig said that Giuliani’s background will also help in making “connections between criminal organizations and their motivations” for cybercrimes.

Jay Edelson, partner and founder of plaintiff-side class action law firm Edelson PC in Chicago, noted Giuliani’s experience, but expressed more modest expectations. “Although we recognize that he has experience in the private sector dealing with cybersecurity issues,” Edelson told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 12, “we don’t expect Mayor Giuliani’s involvement to move the needle” on improving cybersecurity.

The former New York City mayor is the chairman of the global cybersecurity practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP as well as the chairman and CEO of international security consulting firm Giuliani Partners.

A spokeswoman for Greenberg Traurig told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 12 that Giuliani will remain at the law firm. Giuliani will help “clients get ahead of and survive the minefield that technology, the internet and artificial intelligence can bring to bear,” the spokeswoman said.

Before serving as the mayor, Giuliani served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a prosecutor, Giuliani prosecuted Wall Street executives Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken for violating U.S. securities laws.

First Step

Trump’s announcement said that cybersecurity intrusion “is the fastest growing crime” in the U.S. and around the world. “Its impact is felt from the individual citizen whose identity is stolen to the large private and government entities” and is also a major national security threat, the announcement said.

Giuliani’s appointment may be the first step in Trump’s efforts to address cybersecurity concerns during his presidency. Cybersecurity professionals have told Bloomberg BNA that President-elect Donald Trump may aggressively push cybersecurity policy in his first 100 days in office. Trump’s cybersecurity platform includes a Cyber Review Team made up of stakeholders from the public and private sectors, similar to Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

According to the announcement, Trump is contemplating “hosting a series of meetings with senior corporate executives from companies which have faced or are facing challenges similar to those facing the government and public entities today, such as hacking, intrusions, disruptions, manipulations, theft of data and identities, and securing information technology infrastructure.”

However, the announcement said “no consensus advice or recommendations” will be solicited or is expected from these meetings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at jkoo@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at daplin@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Bloomberg Law Privacy and Data Security