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Effective Cybersecurity Means Being Bigger, Faster, Smarter

November 2, 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman
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"This is war, and we're up against the largest standing army there ever has been." That was the definition of the cyberthreat today, according to Rear Adm. Gib Godwin, USN (Ret.), vice president, Northrop Grumman Information Systems, in the cybersecurity acquisition seminar at TechNet Asia-Pacific. That cyberthreat army includes youngsters, thieves, terrorists and government agents. They are getting smarter every day, Godwin said, noting that botnets are growing in effect and sophistication. About 170,000 zombie computers in 74 countries took part in the July 4, 2009, cyberattacks. And, 2,800 new codes are created every day. Every dollar we spend in cybersecurity is a dollar we aren't spending on defense or some other application, he emphasized. Defensively, we'll always be a step behind. "Lock up the valuables the way Wal-Mart does-lock up the iPods and leave the dog food out there to be stolen," he analogized. To provide effective cybersecurity, we must be bigger, faster and smarter. "Unfortunately, the acquisition process is none of these," he said, noting that it is limited, slow and inflexible.

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