Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander tells lawmakers that the organization ”will not militarize cyberspace.” He also details how the Cyber Command will help DHS protect .gov and .com networks. Senate Armed Services Members say Alexander is well-qualified to lead the command.
New Cyber Command will better integrate existing and new computer network defense capabilities. DoD right now is spread too thin to protect its 15,000 networks and 7 million computing devices. The military too often is playing catch up to cyber attacks.
The U.S. Cyber Command – or CYBERCOM – officially became operational in late May.
But observers inside the military and out still aren’t sure what the command is supposed to do: protect the Pentagon’s networks, strike out at enemies, seal up civilian vulnerabilities, or some combination of all three.
CYBERCOM officials insist they have no interest in taking over the security of the Internet, but Pentagon officials have floated the idea the Defense Department might start a protective program for civilian networks.
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Invited attendees will join the country’s premiere cyber experts from U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency and Department of Homeland Security plus top cyber intelligence officials, defense and commercial industry leaders from Constellation Energy, Federal Reserve, HP, Johns Hopkins Healthcare System, Lockheed Martin, ManTech, SAIC, TASC, TeleCommunication Systems for an interactive discussion with Maryland educators from K-12, colleges and universities and workforce development organizations.
Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the military’s new Cyber Command and the director of the NSA, said DoD can help protect private networks from cyber attack – especially critical infrastructure – without infringing on civil liberties. He said civilian agencies and private network operators could leverage NSA’s capabilities without having the spy agency be in charge of security.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who led a Senate Intelligence Committee review of cybersecurity policy last year, said he is hopeful that Congress will be able to pass an overhaul of cyber laws this year. Whitehouse has been critical of the pace at which the Obama Administration has moved to propose such changes to lawmakers.
The Defense Information Systems Agency celebrated the ceremonial opening of its new 95-acre headquarters campus on Friday. Less than half of the 4,600 employees already work at its new headquarters at Fort Meade, Md. The agency expects the rest of its staff to move there from several northern Virginia locations by late August.