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CHIPS Articles: Defense Community Discusses Cyber Challenges at Industrial Security Seminar

Defense Community Discusses Cyber Challenges at Industrial Security Seminar
By Tina C. Stillions, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs - May 16, 2014
SAN DIEGO (NNS) — "Navy leadership is focused on Information Dominance to solve problems and is taking tangible steps to address cyber issues," said Rear Adm. Patrick Brady, commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, during opening remarks at an industrial security seminar for the defense community, May 14 - 15.

More than 200 security professionals from the region's defense community attended the Industrial Security Awareness Council (ISAC) two-day seminar to gain awareness and share resources. Speakers from across industry and government led discussions on cyber and physical security, insider threats, social engineering and counterintelligence efforts.

Brady said that having robust communications systems and pursuing new technology are essential for mitigating risk, controlling consequences and addressing vulnerability.

"I think what we're doing is looking at information in a revolutionary way," said Brady. "It's become a warfare area akin to aviation, surface and submarine warfare."

Roccie Soscia, a Lockheed Martin counterintelligence operations and corporate investigations expert, stressed the importance of identifying a threat, then developing strategies to address and neutralize it.

"A threat is anything that, if compromised, would bring that program down. Knowing your critical assets is very important, because then you know what threats are out there," said Soscia. "You need to open up your aperture and get a different perspective."

Stewart Roberts, vice president for Global Security at QUALCOMM and former FBI agent, reiterated the importance of identifying emerging threats and ensuring certain reciprocal relationships across government and industry are in place.

"After 9/11, we realized how important it was to have a lot of trusted contacts established, so that we weren't reaching out trying to make contacts and get phone number as it was happening," said Roberts. "I understand how important our industry partnerships are. Each of us has one little piece of the puzzle and it's not until you combine the collective knowledge that you have a full understanding of the threats and what steps you want to take to mitigate them."

The top areas for potential risk include criminals, industrial competitors, insider threats and state-sponsored adversaries. All can be equally effective and damaging. Experts agreed that traditional security measures are not sufficient for the rapidly shifting threat landscape. Security education and awareness programs that are transparent and communicated to the workforce are critical to alleviating security risks caused by social engineering and insider threats, prime emergent trends identified during the conference.

The San Diego Industrial Security Awareness Council (ISAC) is an informal, non-profit association of defense contractors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Security Service, the Office of Special Investigations and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The San Diego ISAC was formed in 1990 to promote security awareness in the defense industry by focusing the collective energy and resources of industry and government in Southern California.

As the Navy's Information Dominance systems command, SPAWAR designs, develops and deploys advanced communications and information capabilities for the warfighter. With nearly 10,000 acquisition professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, the organization is at the forefront of research, engineering and support services that provide vital decision superiority for the warfighter.

For more information on SPAWAR, visit:

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