Nakasone Says US Is Working To Stay One Step Ahead Of The Cybersecurity Curve> US Department of Defense> News from the Department of Defense


Twenty years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the great threat to the nation has turned into cyberspace – a new strategic environment where cyber actors can increase their power, weaken the power of others, and gain a strategic advantage, Army Gen said .Paul M. Nakasone.

“Our adversaries operate on a scale, scope and sophistication unlike any we’ve seen before,” said Nakasone, commander of US Cyber ​​Command and director of the National Security Agency. “Their tactics go well beyond spear phishing and the exploitation of weak passwords. Today, our adversaries are targeting and infiltrating our systems by exploiting supply chain and zero-day vulnerabilities, and our adversaries are demonstrating a new risk calculation that has changed the traditional threat. “Landscape.”

Speaking virtually to the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Nakasone said that by operating in cyberspace, US adversaries can cause harm while operating beneath the armed conflict, and they target the US economies, critical infrastructures and electoral processes . Opponents have also launched persistent malicious cyber campaigns to undermine US military advantages and increasingly use social media to do so [and] Affect operations. These adversaries also steal U.S. defense secrets, intellectual property and personally identifiable information, he added.

Social media as we know it didn’t exist 20 years ago, so there is now a lot of data in smartphones and social media accounts that opponents can use against us, Nakasone said. Even fitness trackers and genealogical information are data points for our adversaries who can use this information for malicious purposes such as counter intelligence, social engineering, or ransomware attacks.

China and Russia are the two biggest threats to the United States, and China is the pace challenge, he said.

“China is becoming more confident economically, diplomatically, militarily and technologically,” said Nakasone. “It tries to undermine a stable and open international order in order to establish its credibility and dominance in the global system.”

He characterized Russia as a disruptive threat that aims to undermine the integrity and legitimacy of political systems. “Russia has demonstrated its ability to conduct influence operations in numerous countries, often by combining effective targeting with the power of social media,” he said, noting that China and Russia are conducting malicious cyber campaigns to undermine the US military advantage and threaten US infrastructure and reduce US economic prosperity.

Nakasone said the United States must also actively deter rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran, which are unpredictable and destabilizing presences in their respective regions. “North Korea poses a significant threat to the international finance and trade sectors by promoting the cyber exploitation of financial institutions to illegally acquire funds and bypass US and UN sanctions.”

He said Iran has also shown the ability and intent to strike in its region and against the United States in cyberspace. “We assume that these and other adversaries will step up their efforts in cyberspace to undermine the interests of the US and its allies,” he said. “These malicious actors will continue to identify software vulnerabilities in our governments, military and private networks. And they’ll leverage popular anonymization platforms, generalized toolkits, and open source features – anything that makes it harder for network defenders to identify “and attribute their work to.”

Such challenges for the United States will grow in both scope and scale, Nakasone said. “We have to raise the bar. We have to be resilient and we have to act. Our success in the new era of strategic competition will depend in part on our ability to develop partnerships of all kinds that recognize common risks, common goals, and common goals. ”Solutions. Our opponents have global reach. Partnership is where the power is. “

Nakasone said the U.S. Cyber ​​Command and the National Security Agency are working with the U.S. government, private business, academia, and international partners to achieve and maintain superiority in cyberspace by building resilience, proactive, at home Implement defensive strategies and fight the campaigns and targets of the opponents. He added that through these partnerships and collaborations, the US will make it increasingly difficult for opponents to operate.

The NSA expanded its ability to counter cyber threats and share information with partners in innovative and unclassified ways when agency leaders opened the Cybersecurity Collaboration Center in December, Nakasone said. The NSA’s partnerships with the private sector enable the agency to quickly secure the national security systems, the Department of Defense and the defense industrial base networks.

“Thanks to our existing public-private dialogue, the NSA was able to quickly identify and advise on critical vulnerabilities and commercial software for the national security systems that could potentially affect millions of users around the world.

“We’re all here with one overarching goal: to secure our future,” said Nakasone. “And as the threats evolve and our nation and our adversaries become more sophisticated, we must stay ahead of the times.

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