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Gen. Paul Nakasone: Navy-Marine Corps Integration Needed to Counter Cyberattacks

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Gen. Paul Nakasone
Gen. Paul Nakasone Commander U.S. Cyber Command

Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of U.S. Cyber Command and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said cybersecurity is national security and the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps must be ready to address cyberattacks, USNI News reported Tuesday.

“Continuing Navy-Marine Corps integration must account for the information environment, especially adversary intrusions, information operations and next-gen cryptography,” said Nakasone, who also serves as director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said at a conference Tuesday.

He said a “unity of effort” is needed to fight cyberattacks and protect weapons systems and military data amid the increasing sophistication of cyberthreats from Russia, China and other near-peer competitors.

“That’s going to require a shift – a shift in our posture, a shift in our thought processes, to return to a focus on these kinds of near-peer threats,” he said. “We have to respond to this across a full spectrum of activities and situations, that is, across cyber defense and offense, information operations and in competition, in crisis or, if necessary, in conflict. The more we can synchronize those activities, the more powerful we’ll be as a military and as a nation."

Nakasone also stressed the importance of integration across the services, industry and non-traditional interagency partners and need to recognize that cyber and physical battlefields are closely linked.