Yesterday the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security convened a forum, “State of the Cybersecurity Union,” featuring Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency, and Chief of the Central Security Service. Below are some of the highlights of Admiral Rogers’ remarks, which spoke to the current state of cybersecurity threats to the United States, and what both CYBERCOM and NSA are doing to address these threats, in light of the new Department of Defense cybersecurity strategy released last month.
On the evolving threat: “A whole set of actors is increasingly using encryption to evade the law/law enforcement and intelligence. Being in an environment where threat is up and trust is down is bad for a nation. The greatest segment of capability in the cyber arena continues to be criminal.”
On cyber deterrence: “Cyber is a great equalizer. It doesn’t take millions of dollars or decades of R&D to achieve capability. It’s hard to convince actors that they won’t be successful at cyber-attacks, so we need to raise their costs. Merely because an opponent comes at us in the cyber domain doesn’t mean that our response has to be in that domain. Response is situation dependent.”
On offense, defense: “DOD intends to generate a series of offensive cyber capabilities that will be applied as necessary within a legal framework. The defensive piece is our priority and it’s also our challenge.”
On the role of the private sector: “Partnerships between nation-states and the private sector offer great promise. If we can’t do this it’s like fighting with one hand. In the United States we don’t use the capabilities of our intelligence community to generate benefits for our private sector.”
For more of Admiral Rogers’ thoughts, watch the archived event webcast here.