NSA Director LTG Keith Alexander & FISMA Team Lead Dr. Ron Ross speak at AFCEA DC Symposium
LTG Keith B. Alexander, Director of the NSA/CSS, and incoming Commander of the newly formed Unified Cyber Command, and Dr. Ron Ross, FISMA Team Lead & Senior Computer Scientist & Information Security Researcher from (NIST), spoke at the AFCEA Cyber Symposium on June 26. Both speakers addressed the importance of an integrated defense against cyber attacks currently threatening national security.
LTG Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, and incoming Commander of the newly formed Unified Cyber Command, and Dr. Ron Ross, FISMA Team Lead & Senior Computer Scientist & Information Security Researcher from (NIST), spoke at the AFCEA Cyber Symposium on June 26, 2009. Both speakers addressed the importance of an integrated defense against cyber attacks currently threatening national security.
LTG Alexander stated that the United States does not possess a common defense against cyber attacks, and without it, national security is highly vulnerable. Alexander noted that there are currently 4,000 active terrorist websites, 32,000 cyber attacks daily, and 100 foreign intelligence agencies trying to breach US systems. These statistics stressed the importance of advancements in cyber security technology and strategy. Teamwork and communication across every Department of Defense (DOD) agency is needed to secure the networks. Common blocks of training and access to security clearances will also enable military personnel to see threats immediately and defend against similar, future attacks.
Dr. Ross referenced cyber attacks focused on US power grids and other critical infrastructure. These attacks are designed to disrupt the systems and negatively impact major portions of the US economy, as well as, steal sensitive information and intellectual property. In order to defend against these attacks, Ross states that we must stick to the fundamentals; build better products and create more secure systems. Security needs to be tightly integrated into the information systems which will increase protection on the intellectual property. In an effort to defend against cyber attacks, a final draft of Document 853 has been published on the NIST website. It brings together DOD and NIST controls in a seamless integration of security requirements that can be applied to both national and non-national security systems.
The unified defense against cyber attacks was an underlying theme in both Lieutenant General Alexander and Dr. Ron Ross’s speeches. Advancements in technology, increased collaboration among agencies, and constant security improvements will assure that our country remains safe. Protecting against cyber attacks ensures that national security is upheld and intellectual property remains secure.