Cybersecurity: Challenging Questions with Incomplete Answers

In the August 2010 issue of High Frontiers, the Journal for Space and Cyberspace Professionals, Marshall Institute President Jeff Kueter addressed the issue of military cybersecurity.  He states:

The mid-May 2010 confirmation of General Keith Alexander to head the Pentagon’s newly formed US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) brought a temporary reprieve to the barrage of questions surrounding the purpose, mission, and planned activities of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) effort to secure and defend cyberspace. General Alexander’s confirmation was delayed for months by what press accounts described as “questions on the Hill over exactly what the command’s roles, authorities, and operational scope would be” and he was confirmed “even though the administration has not fully resolved policy issues governing offensive action in cyberspace.”  In other words, the fundamental concerns that delayed the confirmation for months remain unresolved and likely will subject the new command to intense oversight from Congress and an array of interest groups.

Left unsaid, however, was how to do this. To be sure, there is no lack of knowledge within the Air Force on how to protect its networks and the assets that sit on it. The creation of the 24th Air Force (24 AF) signifies an intensification of this focus. But if mission assurance is only about defending networks, why go through the trouble of differentiating the two? Why proclaim a goal of fighting through a cyber attack if confident that such attacks can be defeated before any damage is done?

The full article is found at http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101019-079.pdf on pages 28-30

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