FT. MEADE, Md., Aug. 7, 2019 — U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and National Security Agency (NSA) showcased their partnership at the annual Defense Senior Enlisted Leader Conference July 23, 2019. Twenty of the Pentagon’s top enlisted leaders converged at the agency’s new Integrated Cyber Center to engage in forums centered on national defense priorities.
U.S. Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, USCYBERCOM commander and NSA director, headlined the daylong event detailing his vision for the agency’s forward-leaning defense strategies. He cited NSA’s three major priorities: recruiting and retaining talent; moving clearly toward a new set of targets; and finding, fixing, and finishing our adversaries.
“The world is changing, and this change is rapidly progressing on us,” said Nakasone. “We can watch it, admire it, be part of it, or influence it. Here at USCYBERCOM and NSA, we want to influence it.”
The Agency has been at the forefront of enabling partners to defend against adversaries in both cyber and physical domains. Defending forward is key to ensuring NSA knows each adversary in detail and can act earlier, if necessary. Intra-governmental partnerships are paramount to facilitating the agency’s reach outside its own networks, bolstering its ability to understand the adversary in a much deeper way.
The NSA leader defined the very nature of what makes NSA unique. ”We’re the best at making and breaking codes,” he said, noting that NSA is focused on ensuring the security of our industrial bases where adversaries, like China, are hoping to gain dominance.
“At NSA, we do signals intelligence. We need to understand the vulnerabilities out there, so we can get into the networks of our adversaries,” he continued, putting a fine point on how NSA works in tandem with partners in the U.S. and across the globe. “We’re only successful through our international, industrial, and academic partnerships, as well as our partnership with USCYBERCOM.”