When it comes to cyber, the gloves are off, said Army LTG Alan R. Lynn, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander of the Joint Force Headquarters – Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN), at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in the District of Columbia April 20.
“In cyber, it used to be almost like an intel game — a gentlemanly sport, if you will. People would try to break into your network, real easy, real slow, real quiet; then they’d sit still and watch. Then they’d move a little, maybe take some information, and leave.”
Those days are gone, he said.
“[The enemy is] kicking in the doors. It’s loud and it’s fast. It’s snatch and grab. The gloves are off. They’re going after senior leaders at their offices and at home. It’s a different world,” said Lynn.
DISA and JFHQ-DODIN each play a role in defending against the cyber threat, and are working side-by-side to build and protect the man-made domain we call cyberspace.
DISA Vice Director Air Force Maj Gen Sarah Zabel and JFHQ-DODIN Deputy Commander Air Force Maj Gen (S) Robert Skinner explained each organization’s role, and provided examples of their synergy, via a video message.
Lynn called upon industry partners to help DISA and JFHQ-DODIN meet mission needs by providing ideas and capabilities in support of big data analytics, software defined networking, assured identity, and encryption.
“And you’ve got to give me a good deal,” he said, emphasizing that DISA and JFHQ-DODIN budgets come from the military services, and that budgets are going down across the board.
“We have to all start working together, said Lynn. “It’s not getting better out there. It’s going to take a change in the way we do business. We need to find common ground and figure out what the future is going to look like on our networks and to develop better defense into our networks.”