Clearing it last November itself the Pentagon saw hacking and cyber attacks as acts of aggression over on which the head of Cyber Command this Tuesday provided huge insights on new rules of engagement that are being “potentially” considered for such threats.
Shawn Henry said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said. Mr. Henry, who is leaving government to take a cybersecurity job with an undisclosed firm in Washington, said companies need to make major changes in the way they use computer networks to avoid further damage to national security and the economy.
“I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,” Mr. Henry said.
James A. Lewis, a senior fellow on cybersecurity at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “There’s a kind of willful desire not to admit how bad things are, both in government and certainly in the private sector, so I could see how [Mr. Henry] would be frustrated.”
Mr. Henry added that companies need to do more than just react to intrusions. “In many cases, the skills of the adversaries are so substantial that they just leap right over the fence, and you don’t ever hear an alarm go off,” he said. Companies “need to be hunting inside the perimeter of their network,” he added.