Leaders of the U.S. Cyber Command were sharing ideas and concerns regarding the agency’s mission and objectives during a recent cybersecurity symposium in Washington, D.C.
The leaders attempted to answer unresolved questions in the basic constructs of their protection of cyber networks, such as the definition of a ‘cyber attack’ and the appropriate timing for when the Department of Homeland Security should step in.
“We have lots of decisions to make in the cyber domain,” said Navy Vice Adm. Carl Mauney, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command.
During the symposium, the new command urged military leaders to adopt a more concerned standpoint on the importance of cybersecurity and the securing of crucial networks. Mauney expressed the importance of this due to the military’s growing dependence on network communication.
“We need to be prepared for our networks to continue to operate in the face of a computer network attack,” he said. “It’s not about hunkering down behind a firewall. It’s about the military being able to do the job they are called upon to do.”
Marine Corps Maj. Gen. George J. Allen was among the military leaders in attendance and explained that the most important step in strengthening the military’s cybersecurity is the education of Internet users on the potential threats.
“Our biggest problem is … the digital natives who are very comfortable with YouTube and other things who don’t understand the threats behind it,” Allen said. “That’s not their fault – that’s our fault. It’s a matter of educating them.”
This was not the only plan of action discussed at the meeting. Mauney explained the importance of the military’s ability to stay on their toes, as the cyber environment is continuously changing.
“As the security environment changes – and we know it will – we’ll have to change how we do business,” he said.