McDuffie: Cybersecurity Awareness Is Part of the Key

October 11, 2013
By Max Cacas

As more and more Americans become aware of the threat to the nation’s infrastructure from cyberattack, it’s just as important that the digital tools we use reflect the persistent nature of that threat.
“The important thing is that we’re aware of the importance of cybersecurity issues, and they’re being considered as we’re designing new systems,” says Dr. Ernest McDuffie , lead, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  He spoke on a recent edition of the “AFCEA Answers” radio program.
Addressing the need to maintain that awareness as the nation observes Cybersecurity Awareness Monthy,  McDuffie continues, “It’s something you have to build in from the very beginning; it’s not something you can apply later on.”
In addition to being a persistent threat, cybersecurity challenges are also changing all the time, according to Mike Peterson, vice president for URS, and former chief information officer for the U.S. Air Force.  “Really, the complexity of our systems is what also grows daily and makes it more difficult,” he explains. 
McDuffie also says that another challenge is not only the speed of technology change, but also the rate of that change.  “Certainly, the good guys have more constraints in terms of budget, time and resources that a lot of the bad guys don’t have.”  And, he believes that technology is only part of the solution and that cybersecurity managers need to factor in what he calls “the human element.”

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