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Three Items Top Cyber Command's Industry Wish List

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Government technology alone will not address all of the command's challenges.

Situational awareness, automated decision making and a new way to refresh work force skills rank high on the U.S. Cyber Command's (CYBERCOM's) list of needs from industry, according to its commander. Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, CYBERCOM commander, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service, described those three items as top priorities to the luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore.

Adm. Rogers said that situational awareness tools are necessary because cyberspace is the one military realm that lacks visualization—and it needs it badly. “We need to display the mission set in a visual way that enables faster decision making,” the admiral said. “We don’t have that visualization in the cyber arena.”

The admiral explained that automated decision making also is needed. However, the command first must determine where “the man in the loop makes sense, and where the man in the loop does not make sense,” he emphasized, adding “We can’t do all of [the decision making].” Speed, agility and accuracy also are key, he added, noting that these three often conflict.

Third on the industry wish list is a way of keeping the work force relevant over time. Adm. Rogers decried the traditional approach of sending a skilled worker off to a brick-and-mortar schoolhouse every five years. That works for initial training, but it cannot be sustained over time, and industry needs to help by finding a way of providing ongoing work force training without resorting to that sabbatical.

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