More needs to be done to secure the Internet, said retired Gen. Ronald Keys Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. “If you come in my house at midnight and the alarm goes off, I am coming down the stairs with a loaded shotgun. If you come into my computer at midnight, even if an alarm goes off, nothing is going to happen,” he said in making the case. He said the “return on investment is very high” for cyber snoops and attackers today and they face essentially “no penalty” for their misdeeds. Accordingly, he called for changing that calculus by making it “hard” and “dangerous” for them to act. “We have to make it clear that there is a penalty when you are caught,” he said. He made the analogy to driving, noting that autos require a safety inspection, and drivers must have licenses and wear seatbelts. “If you don’t have those things, there is a penalty associated with it,” he asserted. Keys now operates his own defense consulting firm after retiring from the Air Force in November 2007. He spoke on Tuesday’s cyber panel with retired Gen. Michael Hayden (see Cyber Geography 101 in this column).
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.