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Keith Alexander: Collaboration is Key to National Cyber Defense

Gen. Keith Alexander
Gen. Keith Alexander

The military’s top cyber officer says the federal government must work with private firms and U.S. allies to defend the nation against destructive cyber attacks, the American Forces Press Service reported Wednesday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes Army Gen. Keith Alexander, National Security Agency director and head of U.S. Cyber Command, made the statement in a keynote address at a cybersecurity forum Wednesday.

“Over the last 14 months, we’ve seen over 350 distributed-denial-of-service attacks on Wall Street, with varying levels of success,” he said.

“Those types of catastrophic attacks are in our future. We have to prepare for them. This is something the government cannot do by itself — this is something government, industry and our allies have to work [on] together.”

Alexander told the audience that the government should require Internet service providers to warn law enforcement officers of impending cyber attack on the financial market or other large sectors, Pellerin writes.

“We need a way for industry to tell us when there’s an attack going on,” Alexander said, according to the report.

“In order to respond to these types of threats, we need that information at network speed, and we’ve got to come up with the rules and the operational concepts to actually work at network speed if we’re going to stop some of these attacks,” he added, AFPS reports.

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One comment

  1. General Alexander is right on target. Public/private cooperation in cybersecurity growing increasingly important. A major reasonhas been the rapid changes in the information technology landscape. Since 2002, the capabilities and connectivity of cyber devices and communications has grown exponentially.
    In the past few years, a prime target of cyber intrusions has been the nation’s critical infrastructure such as financial systems, chemical plants, and water and electric utilities, hospitals, communication networks, commercial and critical manufacturing, pipelines, shipping, dams, bridges, highways, and buildings. A change in these risk environments has corresponded with a heightened collaboration with government and private sector stakeholders who owns most of the country’s vital infrastructure. The private sector’s experience, expertise and capabilities in protecting this critical infrastructure will be essential for government to rely upon to be able to meet ppotential threats.

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