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CYBERCOM Faces Challenges Forming Partnerships With Private Sector

Reputations are a hurdle to overcome as the cyberthreat grows more dangerous.

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?”

This partnership is essential for efforts to protect and defend the infrastructure against cybermarauders. “If we can’t create an environment with a dynamic information flow and information sharing in a real time basis, it’s like we’re fighting with one hand tied behind our backs,” Adm. Rogers declared.

“Cyber is the ultimate team sport,” he added.

The admiral warned that he expects to see a destructive cyber attack on the U.S. critical infrastructure—either from a nation or from a group of individuals—at some point in his lifetime. Accordingly, he called for cyber legislation that will establish a working relationship between government and the private sector. “Voluntary information sharing has shown some progress, but it has not done enough,” he stated.