Technology & Science

Rudy Giuliani will help Trump team with cybersecurity

A former New York City mayor will share his expertise on "private sector" issues with Donald Trump's team after more than a decade offering cybersecurity consulting and legal services to companies worldwide

Former NYC mayor entered cybersecurity consulting in 2003 and leads a cyber law practice

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will lend his expertise to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump on cybersecurity issues, the Trump-Pence transition team announced on Thursday.

In a statement, Trump's team said that Giuliani will share his expertise specifically on "private sector" issues, making no mention of an ongoing Russian hacking scandal.

The president-elect will also be hosting meetings with "senior corporate executives" to discuss intrusions, data theft, and other cybersecurity challenges, though no specific companies were named, nor was a timeline provided.

"No consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited," the statement reads.

Giuliani is the chairman and CEO of Giuliani Partners, a consulting firm he founded in 2002, which offers cybersecurity services under the subsidiary Giuliani Security & Safety. He also serves as chairman of global law firm Greenberg Traurig's cybersecurity practice.

In an interview with MarketWatch a year ago, Giuliani said he entered the cybersecurity business after reading an FBI report in 2003 which forecast a rise in cybercrime and national security risks.

By 2005, Giuliani said the company had begun offering penetration testing to clients, evaluating their security with attempts at breaking into their networks from the outside.

In the same interview, he compared online criminals to "a loosely affiliated kind of Mafia," and solving cybersecurity like trying to find a "perfect solution" to cancer.

In November, Giuliani was under consideration for director of national intelligence, according to reports, a role that ultimately went to former U.S. senator Dan Coats last week. The role is currently held by James Clapper, who previously announced plans to step down following Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20.

At one point, Giuliani was also a rumoured contender for secretary of state. Instead, the Trump team opted for former Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson.

It is not clear who Giuliani Security & Safety counts amongst its clients — only that, at one point, it's website boasted "affiliations and engagements" in 63 countries across six continents, according to the Washington Post.

About the Author

Matthew Braga

Senior Technology Reporter

Matthew Braga is the senior technology reporter for CBC News, where he covers stories about how data is collected, used, and shared. You can contact him via email at matthew.braga@cbc.ca. For particularly sensitive messages or documents, consider using Secure Drop, an anonymous, confidential system for sharing encrypted information with CBC News.