At a time when more and more computers are interconnected across the globe and more and more people are trying to exploit their vulnerabilities, the U.S. Army is shifting to meet the cybersecurity challenge. Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA, the first commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, told keynote luncheon attendees at the TechNet Land Forces East conference that his new command is an integral part of the Army's shift to an active defense of the Internet. At the same time, it is also transitioning to a joint information sharing environment within the Defense Department, which will allow the services to more readily exchange important information as needed to support combatant commanders.
TechNet Land Forces East 2012
When it comes to cybersecurity, what does victory smell like? The wrap-up panel discussion for the TechNet Land Forces East conference, titled "Win: Land Cyber, Dominating and Winning Decisively," sought to provide insights and answers.
Moderator William Waddell, director, Command, Control and Cyberspace Operations Group, U.S. Army War College, said that the challenge actually is defining "winning" in a domain such as cyberspace-a domain which he said we as a nation, and the military as a force, still don't fully understand.
The next generation of cybersecurity will not deal with securing computer networks but rather with ensuring the inherent security of devices that connect to those networks. That's the prediction of Steven Sprague, president and chief executive officer of Wave Systems, who delivered a plenary address to kick off the final day of the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Thursday.
Along with all the other tools at their disposal, U.S. Marine Corps commanders now have complete cyber resources as part of the traditional Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operational doctrine, said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Marine Corps. The general spoke during the Aberdeen Chapter luncheon at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Wednesday. Gen. Mills, who admitted to being "an old infantry guy," nonetheless put his cybersecurity resources to good use during his 2010 deployment leading Marines in Afghanistan.
"I believe that cybersecurity is a team sport," said Maj. Gen. John Davis, USA, senior military adviser for cyber to the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), kicking off a discussion on how the military involves coalition partners in its cyberdefense efforts.
Moderating a panel on building cybercapacity with partner nations at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore, Gen. Davis told attendees that for some time now, the American military has been doing things like developing and implementing joint training in cyber into the many bilateral and multilateral exercises that the United States participates in every year.
Using resources available on the global network, three developers raced the clock to create solutions to a security problem as part of the third PlugFest competition. The winners were announced Thursday during the final day of TechNet Land Forces East in Baltimore. Third place went to Morakot Pilouk with ESRI Incorporated in Thailand, who delivered a solution that verified whether a data source at the far end of a network was malicious or harmless. Steve Guerin received second place. He used SIMTABLE, a device to create 3-D maps, combined with input from smartphones held by warfighters in the field, to develop a situational map of a wildfire in Afghanistan.
Cyberspace was never designed with security in mind, and no one group-or one nation-can totally control the Internet.
Based on those two realities, cybersecurity requires both teamwork and collaboration, Mary Lee, director of strategy and policy development, Cyber Task Force, National Security Agency, stated. Lee served as moderator of the TechNet Land Forces East panel titled, "What Does it Take to Prevent?" Lee asked a panel of top military leaders to address the topic of proactively protecting networks against cyber attacks.
When the talk turns to cybersecurity, most people think about cyber attacks, trusted Internet connections and malicious bots. But do they think about the security of the supply chain that brings routers, switches, and other hardware and software components into your network to prosecute your mission?
Maryland is home to key cybersecurity agencies, such as the United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, and the Baltimore Convention Center provides a fitting venue for the nearly 4,000 attendees of the TechNet Land Forces East conference, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said prior to the event's opening luncheon.
When it comes to cybersecurity, how do you distinguish the routers, switches and other equipment that make up the "network of networks" from kitten videos, blogs and company websites that make up the content found on the internet?
The answer to that question, as difficult as it might be to answer in a straightforward way, was the subject of the first panel discussion at the TechNet Land Forces East Conference on Tuesday afternoon.
What concerns Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, is that the people under his command are "not trained to a standard needed to protect our systems." Alexander delivered the afternoon keynote address to the TechNet Land Forces East conference, which opened today in Baltimore. At a time when McAfee reports the number of reported cyberattacks rose 44 percent last year, Gen. Alexander is worried that various components of military cyber command forces train differently from others. "Signal command trains to defend," he said.