Moving Beyond the Cyber Basics

US Cyber Command this year plans to move beyond a focus on the network structure into systems and platforms, to build new partnerships, and to instill a culture of “cyber hygiene,” Adm. Michael Rogers said Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C. During an event at the Atlantic Council, Rogers, the commander of US Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency, said cyber?security efforts have historically focused on networks. Now, Cyber Command must work with acquisition to build secure systems from the ground up. Many of the systems used today were built 10, 20, or even 30 years ago, Rogers said, when “redundancy, resiliency, and defensibility from a cyber perspective were just not core design characteristics.” After being in his job nearly two years, Rogers said he’s realized that partnerships are critical for cyber security, because no single entity or nation has all the answers. “This is a challenge that will require us to work together in collaborative and innovative ways,” he said. Additionally, he hopes the Department of Defense can create a culture of “cyber hygiene” and personal responsibility akin to that of weapons. Doing so would eliminate about 80 percent of the challenges Cyber Command faces from a defensive standpoint, he said, and would allow them to focus on other issues. “We have got to get beyond just dealing with the basics,” he said. (See also: The Cyber Wild West.)