Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III met with Canadian National Security Advisor Marie-Lucie Morin to discuss cooperation efforts for a cyber defense strategy between the two nations at a meeting in Ottowa, Canada.
As threat levels of cyber attacks continue to climb, Lynn feels that a U.S. cyber defense collaboration with Canada is a necessity for the protection of both nation’s economies.
“To have the highest levels of protection, you want the widest set of allies so you understand and anticipate the broadest set of threats,” he said. “In the cyber arena, knowing who your adversary is, and what they’ve done, is a key part of mounting an effective response.”
Lynn stressed that an attack in the cyberworld would have disastrous effects for both military and civil economic infrastructures. He cited that the Internet has allowed for a larger battle arena, one not separated by borders and seas. These geographical defenses are no longer the only thing keeping attacks at bay. “For most of our history, we have been shielded by geography – shielded by our oceans from attack,” said Lynn. He added, “Those natural geographic defenses are of no use when it comes to cyber attack. The Internet can transmit malicious code in the blink of an eye.”
The meeting was held in hopes to set a doctrine to allow the two nations to work smoothly within the collaborated cybersecurity alliance. Lynn explained that these plans will be essential in the future because of the changing nature of warfare, which is seen even on the front lines of the soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. He explained that the adversary with the more sophisticated weapons often are the biggest threat.
“Terrorist organizations and rogue states seek weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “Insurgents are armed with improvised explosive devices that are capable of penetrating even the most advanced armored vehicles. We even see criminal organizations that possess world-class cyber capabilities.”
As conventional warfare continues to evolve, the need for these types of meetings become more important. The strengthening of U.S. allies to combat cyber threats has become a top priority for U.S. defense strategies. The strong alliance between the United States and Canada will become more and more important as conflicts become more sophisticated over time.
“We have irrevocably entered an era of new threats,” the deputy secretary said. “But we have done so together, each committed to the collective defense, and each sure that whatever the future brings, we will face it standing shoulder-to-shoulder.”