[ISN] A Call to Cyber Arms

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 04:08:33 -0600 (CST)

By Maryann Lawlor 
The official blog of 
AFCEA International
and SIGNAL Magazine

Sherri Ramsay, director of the NSA's Central Security Service Threat 
Operations Center, opened AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series today by admitting 
that the intersection of cyber, national and economic security has 
changed the way her organization interacts with industry. Citing 
statistics that cybercrime has cost individuals more than $2 billion, 
Ramsay called for shared network situational awareness across the U.S. 
government, industry and individuals. This holistic approach must 
include information about who owns, operates and defends the networks, 
she said.

"Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and 
Economic Security," is the third in this year's SOLUTIONS series of 
forums and is taking place December 2-3 at the National Conference 
Center. The event features presentations by military and government 
leaders as well as three tracks of panel sessions that are designed to 
prompt discussions among attendees.

Despite the need for a holistic approach to cybersecurity, Ramsay 
acknowledged that determining how to do it poses many challenges. She 
related that while discussing cyber defense with her counterparts in New 
Zealand, she described the change in tactics as the difference between 
playing football and playing soccer. While the former involves offensive 
and defensive teams taking the field separately, the latter calls on 
offensive players to go on the defense as soon as possession of the ball 
changes sides. The New Zealanders agreed that a change has taken place 
but said that cyber defense today more resembles rugby.

Ramsay called on government, industry and individuals to be more 
proactive in their part of cybersecurity. To this end, the NSA now uses 
the term "Team Cyber" every day to describe how it is enacting cyber 
defenses. Members of the team include the government, industry and 
academia to such an extent that the NSA has actually brought antivirus 
vendors into the same room with government network defenders to observe 
networks under attack. The vendors were then given the information and 
signatures they would need to improve the next version of their 


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Received on Fri Dec 04 2009 - 02:08:33 PST

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