Military Branches Assemble to Break Ground on National Cybersecurity Strategy

June 25, 2015

Andrew Conte

When it comes to cybersecurity, we're all in this together.

The nation's best defense in cyberspace involves not only the military but private citizens and corporations, top security planners said Tuesday in a closed-door meeting at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

“You do not want this to be a military approach,” said speaker Mark Troutman, the director of the Center for Infrastructure Protection & Homeland Security at George Mason University. “We are Americans. We secure ourselves at the end of the day with an active and engaged citizenry.”

 

Participants at the event are working to break ground on a national cybersecurity strategy that would provide direction for the federal government in the event of a major computer attack, said William Waddell, director of mission command and the cyber division at the War College.

Sessions on the first of three days of planned talks included about two dozen planners representing multiple military branches, federal agencies such as Homeland Security, National Security Agency, Defense Department and Defense contractors, as well as security professors.

The Carlisle discussions are taking place as high-level talks between the United States and China play out at the Strategic and Economic Forum in Washington. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew opened the three-day forum Tuesday by saying Washington remains “deeply concerned about government-sponsored cyber theft from companies and commercial sectors.”

The comment reflected U.S. concerns that China might have been behind a massive computer hack on the federal Office of Personnel Management involving millions of government employee files. U.S.-China talks on cybersecurity issues were suspended last year when federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh filed criminal charges against several members of the Chinese military for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

Federal officials have said cybersecurity will be discussed during the Washington forum in an effort to smooth out problems before Chinese President Xi Jinping's scheduled first visit to the White House in December.

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