Turning Traffic Lights Green: Applying an Intelligence Model to Cyber Security
What would happen if a cybercriminal simultaneously turned all of the traffic lights in Manhattan green?
Cyberspace serves as a great force multiplier for free expression and commerce. It is also an open, unregulated playing field for criminals and malicious actors, leaving citizens vulnerable to attacks, which can change, steal or destroy data. Having served the better part of the past three decades in the intelligence community, former CIA Officer Daniel Hoffman shares his perspective on integrating human intelligence with technical countermeasures as a robust strategy for more effectively protecting the data, money, and reputation on which commercial success relies. Relying on his deep experience in cyber operations and counterintelligence, Mr. Hoffman outlines a three pronged capability based cybersecurity strategy focused on assessing the battlespace, striving for a 360 degree optic, and defending against the insider threat.
Leadership Lessons Learned From the War Zone
Mr. Hoffman shares his perspective on leadership lessons learned from serving in senior Intelligence Community positions in overseas war zone locations as well as inside the Beltway where he ran CIA covert operations and delivered critical intelligence assessment, especially on the Middle East and South Asia to senior U.S. Government officials. Using experiences from overseeing operations in the Middle East and South Asia, Mr. Hoffman emphasizes the importance of getting the big ideas right and describes the role of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) in our national security policymaking process. Explaining the role of collection, analysis, and executive decision making while highlighting the importance of delineating the confidence level of analytical decisions, Mr. Hoffman applies leadership lessons from his service at CIA to private sector challenges.
During the previous decade booming international demand and high oil prices sparked Russia's economic recovery and concurrent reemergence on the world stage as a significant power player. Vladimir Putin, who has served either as President or Prime Minister of Russia since 1999, has led a resurgent and aggressive foreign policy, both in the former Soviet Union whose collapse Putin famously said in 2005 was a major geopolitical disaster of the twentieth century, and beyond Russia's traditional sphere of influence to U.S. shores. Russia is now mounting intense covert influence operations against Europe and the U.S. and deploying its land, air, and sea assets in the former Soviet Union, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America at levels unmatched since the fall of the Soviet Union. Having served nearly ten years in the former Soviet Union and recognized as a leading CIA expert on Russian operations, Mr. Hoffman traces Russia's increasingly aggressive military and cyber policies, and their impact on U.S. national security and the private sector.
Daniel Hoffman in the news
Former CIA Officer and expert in cybersecurity and counterterrorism, here is a sampling of DANIEL HOFFMAN's media appearances:
Daniel Hoffman on The Cipher Brief
With extensive, substantive expertise on geopolitical and transnational issues related to the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, counterterrorism, and cyber and counter-intelligence, developed with decades of distinguished service with the CIA, the U.S. military, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Commerce, DANIEL HOFFMAN is a frequent and trusted contributor to The Cipher Brief. Catch up with his latest observations in his latest articles.Read his latest column here > >
Daniel Hoffman makes headlines for his powerful Wall Street Journal op-ed
Former CIA officer and expert on cyber security and counterterrorism DANIEL HOFFMAN penned a powerful op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, unpacking the implications and strategies behind the Steele dossier. Drawing on his 30 years of government experience—including time observing Soviet and Russian intelligence operations—Hoffman goes beyond partisan politics to argue that the highly contested dossier was part of a Russian espionage disinformation plot targeting both parties and America’s political process. Hoffman shares both shrewd insights into the Kremlin’s tactics and a compelling argument for what the U.S. response should be, highlighting what is at stake in terms of national security. His sharp analysis was instantly cited in other outlets, including Politico. Frequently sought-out by major outlets thanks to his substantive and frank commentary on Russia and ongoing national security concerns, Hoffman is a seasoned expert who is able to break down complex issues for every audience. At a recent event for Flywheel Data, he received the following rave review: "Wow! Dan captured our attention from the minute he walked into the room. It is not every day that you can hear from an elite government official who made a career of NOT being noticed or heard. We are fortunate that Dan has stepped forward and is pulling the stealth curtain back for all of us to have a peek. Dan had us in utter shock and amazement at some of stories he shared..."
Daniel Hoffman's appearances on Fox News
With a combined 30 years of distinguished government service, including high-level positions within the CIA, the U.S. military, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Commerce, DANIEL HOFFMAN is a source of credible information and insights for Fox media.Watch his appearances here >>
Daniel Hoffman sheds light on Russia's intelligence operations
A former Senior Executive Clandestine Service Officer with the CIA and trusted expert on cybersecurity and counterterrorism, DANIEL HOFFMAN has been sought-out by major media outlets for his clear, concise and shrewd analysis on top security concerns. First, in a widely-shared op-ed for The New York Times (the article received nearly 900 comments), Hoffman provided thought-provoking and frank analysis on Russia’s attempts to destabilize American democracy, sharing insights into how Democrats and Republicans can forge a successful path forward. With three decades of experience working for the government—including at the CIA observing Soviet and Russian intelligence operations, and five years working in Moscow—Hoffman draws from personal experience to decode Russian tactics. Hoffman was also interviewed by MSNBC and Fox to shed light on Russian intelligence strategies, and is a regular contributor to The Cipher Brief—a digital security-based platform— where he provides sharp analysis on everything from breaking news to big picture security concerns.
Daniel Hoffman is a former Central Intelligence Agency Senior Executive Clandestine Service Officer with 30 years of distinguished government service. He served tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in the Middle East as well as Chief of a large war zone Station in South Asia and Chief of a large Station in Eurasia.
Mr. Hoffman has broad substantive expertise on the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, counterterrorism, cyber security, and counterintelligence. He has worked extensively with the U.S. Military and FBI and been a senior Intelligence Community leader in Washington and in overseas field locations of critical importance to U.S. national security. He has broad policy experience serving senior CIA leadership, Congress, and U.S. cabinet officials.
Mr Hoffman is fluent in Russian, Estonian, Finnish and Urdu. Formerly an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is currently working as an independent consultant, a Fox News contributor since April 2018, and has been serving on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board since March 2019.
Mr. Hoffman earned graduate degrees from Harvard Kennedy School and London School of Economics as well as an undergraduate degree from Bates College.