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Homeland Security Begins at Home

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Securing cyberspace starts with every citizen's personal computing device.

The battle against cybermarauders begins with individual home computers, according to a high-ranking official with the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Rear Adm. Hank Bond, USN, J-6, NORTHCOM, and deputy J-3 for cyberspace operations at NORAD, discussed national cybersecurity in a panel presentation on the second day of AFCEA's three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14.

“Where does homeland security end and homeland defense begin?” he asked. “The contested environment is in the dot com; it's in your computer at home.”

Adm. Bond offered that actions by an adversary in cyberspace would not be exclusively decisive. However, NORTHCOM needs to know when the homeland is being threatened. He called for the ability to sense what is happening in cyberspace “beyond our foxhole.” Having a defensible architecture would allow the command to sense outward what is happening, he said.

The key to effective homeland defense is to have a “whole of nation” concept, he continued. This would include law enforcement along with state, local and tribal governments.

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