Cyber14

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The growing call for an independent U.S. cyber service along the lines of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps is not likely to gain followers among policy makers, say a number of service cyber officers. The growing importance of cyber as a warfighting domain has spurred suggestions that the discipline might follow in the footsteps of the U.S. Air Force, which became an independent service shortly after World War II. However, panelists on the second day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium June 24-25 in Baltimore dashed that concept.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Estonia has established a dedicated cyberdefense infrastructure and implemented new policies that are serving as models for other allied nations gearing up for potential cyber attacks. The Estonian measures come in the wake of the Baltic nation undergoing a severe cyber attack in 2007, which ultimately led to Estonia hosting the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Defense Department networks will need to operate with the minimum security available as connectivity and the threat picture evolve, said a top defense official. Terry Halvorsen, acting Defense Department chief information officer, minced no words as he described how tight budgets are limiting options across the board.

“I want for all these networks, the minimum level of security to get the mission done,” Halvorsen declared. “If we try to do the best security everywhere, we will not get to what we want. We don’t have the money; we don’t have the time.”

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Defense Department data will be invading the commercial world as the department moves its unclassified information out of its own hands. Terry Halvorsen, acting Defense Department chief information officer, described the upcoming move at the Wednesday luncheon of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The acting chief information officer (CIO) for the U.S. Defense Department is promoting a diversity movement for information technology. He wants to see a younger work force that includes people who have come of age in the digital era.

Terry Halvorsen, acting department CIO, told the Wednesday luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department is striving to recruit the right skill sets it needs for information technology. But, having skill sets alone is not enough.

“We need to attract a younger work force,” he said. “We’re filling jobs, but we’re not getting the right mix. Diversity is needed.”

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Even with the rising tide of nation-sponsored cyber attacks, NATO does not yet have a policy—let alone a definition—of what constitutes a cyber attack that would mandate a response under Article 5 of the alliance’s Washington Treaty, according to NATO officials. Article 5 defines an attack on a NATO member as “an attack on all,” requiring a response by all members against an aggressor.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Defenders of cyberspace need to concentrate on the critical services provided by the critical infrastructure, not the infrastructure itself, according to a leading cyber expert. Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies and former acting senior director for cyberspace with the National Security Council, said that the future of the West is held hostage by the fact that its security and resilience are threatened.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Encountering many variables as it strives to achieve effective cybersecurity, NATO is focusing on two long-standing constants to move forward: training and partnerships with industry. The Atlantic alliance is seeking industry help in pursuing solutions, and it is adopting many traditional methods and institutions to train personnel in vital cyberskills.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new management trend may impel corporations to implement better cybersecurity: lead or get out of the way. Either corporate leaders take the initiative for improving their companies' cybersecurity, or shareholders will demand their ouster following a damaging attack that puts corporate futures in doubt.

Those points were offered by the Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Four experts agreed that companies of all sizes are imperiled by cyberthreats, and leadership must institute a culture that values cybersecurity as a foundation of doing business.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

With cyber losses running in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the private sector must establish its own standards for cybersecurity or face government regulations that would be painful for some firms. Either way, regulatory guidance is necessary for the private sector to avoid potentially fatal hemorrhaging of assets and information to cybermarauders.

These points were offered by the Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Four experts examining the issue from both sides agreed that self-regulation was the desirable outcome.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) views the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as a key partner in its effort to secure defense cyberspace. This includes the agency having an operational mission in which it plays a critical role in defending defense cyberspace, according to the commander of CYBERCOM.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, CYBERCOM’s commander, told the luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that his command already is planning a command and control construct in which DISA can carry out this new mission. The admiral sees DISA playing a key role as defense networking becomes more centralized.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) faces a unique set of challenges as it tries to engage industry and academia in the cybersecurity effort, according to its commander. One of these challenges involves overcoming long-held and recent reluctance on the part of these two groups to cooperating with the government.

"How do we bring together expertise from the private sector and academia with government?" asked Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, commander of CYBERCOM, at the Tuesday luncheon during the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. “How do we do that when one of the partners is not fully trusted?”

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Many U.S. companies are losing business because of cyber issues expressed by foreign firms. These concerns can range from fears of U.S. vulnerabilities to worries that intelligence agencies will have access to information held by U.S. contractors.

That issue arose in both a panel discussion and an address on the first day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Panelists were discussing how companies need to realize that cybersecurity is in their best interest when the issue of foreign rejection arose.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Businesses that neglect their cybersecurity needs risk being put out of business by even the simplest of attacks, according to cybersecurity experts. While all companies face the threat of a devastating financial cyber robbery, even a simple attack that steals information could be the end for a small- or medium-size business.

The Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, warned that many firms just do not treat lax cybersecurity as a serious economic threat.

June 24, 2014
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

Too much time spent chasing the obvious takes away from the ability to find the less obvious risks when it comes to stopping cyberthreats. Attacks from foreign adversaries, insider threats and advanced persistent threats all look the same, so it is essential to understand what is normal and to take immediate action when an anomaly is detected.

Analytic functions, such as review of data logs, should be automated, and then analysts must determine the right "squelch settings" to avoid too much "noise," said Mark Nehmer, associate deputy director, counterintelligence (cyber), Defense Security Service, speaking at the AFCEA Cyber Symposium in Baltimore Tuesday.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity that focuses on preventing or mitigating the effects of a cyber intrusion on the critical infrastructure, according to a department undersecretary. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said continuity of operation is the key to resisting cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The public/private partnership that influences many government efforts is a core effort as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) strives to protect the homeland from cyber attacks. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, told the audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department has several efforts underway to engage the private sector in the fight against cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Innovation may be the key to ensuring that the national critical infrastructure is protected from new cyberthreats, said an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said that the private sector must step in to help prevent future attacks.

“We need to break through in terms of innovation,” Spaulding told the opening keynote audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. She noted that most cyberdefenses concentrate on stopping known threats; instead, planners must anticipate what may be coming.