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Aaron Hughes Talks DoD’s Cyber Deterrence, Talent Recruitment Efforts

Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes, deputy assistant secretary for cyber policy at the Defense Department, has said the U.S. government’s national power instruments and the U.S. military’s stated policy have helped deter “destructive” cyber attacks, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

“We have a maneuver force in the Cyber Mission Force that can provide a military component for whatever the whole-of-government recommendations might be,” Hughes told NextGov senior correspondent Joseph Marks in an interview.

Hughes, who joined DoD in 2015, cited some of the cybersecurity efforts the department has launched during President Barack Obama’s administration such as the release of DoD’s cyber strategy in April 2015 and the initial operating capability milestone achieved by the Cyber Command in the fall of 2016.

He told Nextgov the National Defense Authorization Act has provided DoD “more rapid hiring authority” for Cybercom staff and some cyber functions at the Defense Information Systems Agency in the past two years and that the Pentagon has considered actions how to manage trained military personnel that are part of the cyber mission teams.

Hughes also mentioned DoD’s offensive cyber capabilities, the transition of Cybercom into a unified combatant command and his views on DoD’s cyber operations over the next two decades.

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