Military leaders warn U.S. is falling behind in cybersecurity

August 27, 2015

Rudy Takala

The United States is at risk of falling behind its enemies in the field of cybersecurity, military leaders said this week.

The comments come after an unclassified server of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs was penetrated this month by a state-affiliated hacker believed to be Russian or Chinese. That incident, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Defense One, "is evidence that we're not doing as good as we need to do in job one in cyber, which is defending our own networks.

"Our military is empowered by and also dependent upon networks for its effective operations. So, we have to be good, and I would say we have to be better at network defense than we are now," Carter continued. He also said he was trying "to encourage interest in our nation and a back-and-forth of people" between the public and private sectors "so that our people have the benefit of getting to know the technology, the culture, and the business practices and so forth of the commercial sector, and we draw the commercial sector into the great mission of helping us protect the nation."

Speaking at a conference in Augusta, Ga., on Tuesday, Army Cyber Command chief Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon struck a similar note. "As far as we have come over the past decade, I still think we are near the beginning of what is truly possible," Cardon said. "However, the window to accomplishing our potential in a proactive manner is closing."

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