#BHMEA23 speaker Colonel Gerard M. Acosta (Commander, US Defense Logistics Agency) is a future-focused thought leader, with multiple threads of experience feeding into his unique perspective on information security. He brings academia together with public service and military strategy to offer a positive view of the future.
Right now, Acosta’s focus is on defence logistics for supply chain management. We caught up with him to get a snapshot of his current work.
Could you briefly share your career journey so far? And what might a typical working day look like for you at the moment?
“Currently, our Defense Logistics Agency Middle East imperative is to continue to build our wholesale commodity network and optimise our transportation and distribution channels. On a daily basis, we are working with our host nation partners and second-tier suppliers to build the necessary agreements and authorities to secure the flow of goods into each county. Working with our commercial partners increases our need to improve our cybersecurity posture to protect our flow of goods, financial transactions, and commercial communications strategies.”
In terms of cybersecurity, what's your focus right now? Are there any specific types of threat that are becoming more prevalent or pressing for defence logistics supply chains?
“Cybersecurity is primordial in our daily setting. Improving the digital security among our financial transaction lines of communication, warehouse operation systems, and RFID ground movement capabilities is key to preventing disruptions among our global supply chain performance. There is daily nefarious activity among our digital lines of communication, which if successful could disrupt our global and US defence commerce.”
How has the approach to cybersecurity within US defence organisations changed over the course of your career?
“Our DOD cyber eco-system has improved dramatically over the last years. The integration of AI, quantum, digital engineering, and predictive tactics has improved our cyber posture. At the tactical level, there is improved user education, data literacy, and data centricity efforts. Within our commercial sphere, our zero-trust efforts and DOD cyber security maturation models have improved the integration of our commercial partners in our grand military-industrial complex.”
Why is an event like Black Hat MEA valuable to you?
“Black Hat MEA is the premier IT and Cybersecurity platform to meet world-class cybersecurity practitioners, expose oneself to new cyber technologies and solutions, and share lessons learned among a growing professional cyber network.”
Thanks to Col. Gerard M Acosta at the United States Department of Defense. Want to learn more? Register now to attend Black Hat MEA 2023.