Interview with Iram Ali, Senior Advisor, US Federal and NPO, Amazon Web Services
This is the first in a series of blogs to feature thought leaders and speakers at the
11th Annual Billington CyberSecurity Summit on 9/8-9/9, an all virtual summit featuring
over 105 speakers and over 40 sessions. Register now!
You’ll be leading a fireside chat with Dr. Stacey Dixon, Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, as part of the Women’s Cybersecurity Leadership Coffee. What are you most looking forward to hearing from her?
I’ve known Stacey for almost 15 years, and I’ve long admired her leadership and her commitment to public service. I look forward to giving her an opportunity to share her impressive experiences with other women in the audience.
In addition to Stacey, who have been some of your other mentors either within or outside of government?
Teresa Carlson, AWS Vice President for Worldwide Public Sector, has been an incredible mentor to me for the last three years. She joined AWS at the end of 2010 to start the Worldwide Public Sector, and today she leads global teams that are paving the wave for disruptive innovation and enabling our customers to build a better world.
Coming from a national security background, what are you seeing in terms of cloud adoption within the national security space?
National security depends on our nation’s ability to stay a step ahead of adversaries. A big component of that is modernizing aging infrastructure and adopting the latest security technologies, which are available in the cloud. The cloud enables organizations to achieve their missions faster, speed up innovation, and save costs by scaling up quickly without the lengthy and costly process of acquiring hardware.
How does the cloud help improve security for government organizations?
Security is a great example of how cloud offers the ability for organizations to improve the ways they do fundamental IT work. Migration to the cloud can improve an organization’s level of security assurance and reduce operational risk. For example, on AWS, customers can conduct audits continually, not periodically as in traditional data centers.
In addition to cybersecurity, what other aspects of technology are important for the U.S. government to prioritize?
Leadership in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing is both an economic and national security imperative. In quantum computing, for example, it is essential that the U.S. lead on developing quantum capabilities and the means to secure systems of national importance from quantum threats. Technology leadership within the private sector helps ensure the U.S. maintains its competitive advantage on a global scale.