CYBERCOM Boss Urges Congress to Act

President Obama’s new executive order tackles the most difficult aspect of the cybersecurity problem: how to harden networks in both government and industry when networks are in “various states of array,” said Army Gen. Keith Alexander, US Cyber Command boss and National Security Agency director. The cyber systems and assets vital to the nation’s economy and governance are “overwhelmingly owned and operated by industry,” and the Defense Department and other government agencies have pushed hard for further information sharing between the private and public spheres on this front, he said on Feb. 13 during a cybersecurity discussion in Washington, D.C., with senior defense, commerce, homeland security, and White House officials. The executive order—announced in Obama’s Feb. 12 State of the Union address—”is only a down payment on what we need to address the threat,” said Alexander. New legislation is needed, he said to help serve as guidance on sharing threat information with the private sector, and to help build a “real-time” defensive posture for the military’s networks by removing barriers to private-public information sharing relating to attacks and intrusions. (Includes AFPS report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.)