Computer Crime Research Center


Future Defense Department Cybersecurity Builds on the Past

Date: February 05, 2008
By: Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr.

Cybersecurity is becoming a critical issue for both government and industry—and for good reason. A dangerous combination of cyber-related activity is growing daily around us. This includes dependence on technology, skyrocketing cyber crime and terrorism, and vulnerabilities hidden by the complexities of an interconnected, global network. In government, industry and our personal lives, we have growing cyber dependence because that is how we are able to better perform missions, conduct business operations and lead our daily lives.

But there is a flip side. Cyber criminals are profiting by compromising personal identities and financial information and selling this information to the underground market. Cyber terrorism also is a concern because the same technologies used in industry can be leveraged easily for disruptive purposes, including vandalism, fraud and espionage. With increasing demands for sharing information and rapid collaboration any time anywhere, we are becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks from a variety of bad actors.

In the past, U.S. Defense Department information networks were strictly controlled. We remember the outstanding security found throughout defense networks such as the Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN), the Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON) and the Automatic Secure Voice Network (AUTOSEVOCOM). Those were the days of closed networks in which daily security concerns were oriented more toward physical security rather than cyberspace.

However, over the past 20 years, significant changes have emerged in networks and capabilities. These changes have postured the Defense Department for success in this new world of threats and interdependence.
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