Wednesday, June 5, 2013

U.S. Cyber Commander Offers Radical Changes


U.S. Cyber Commander Offers Radical Changes

Published: June 4, 2013


Advocates cyberteam concept that brings together signal, signals intelligence and cyber communities

— /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, wants to combine forces from the military communications and intelligence communities to combat a broad cyber threat that he describes as "only going to get worse."

In an exclusive interview in the June issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Gen. Alexander reveals his in-depth plans to reorganize the Defense Department cyber community. This reorganization calls for consolidating the signal community, signals intelligence and the cyber community. They all operate in the same space, he said, so they should be trained together to defend the nation's cyberspace.

This approach acknowledges the convergence of network systems over the past few years. As all types of information management—networking, communications and data storage—became digitized, previously disparate disciplines assumed greater commonality. Because they now have more common aspects, these disciplines share similar vulnerabilities as well as potential solutions. The structure of the cyberforce has not kept pace with these technology developments, the general admits.

Saying of the Cyber Command, "the country didn't bring us here to defend ourselves, they brought us here to defend the country," Gen. Alexander calls for combining these three traditionally separate fields so the command can maximize the complementary skills that each discipline brings to the cyber realm. "Cyberspace is becoming an active area in which nations will attack us," he emphasizes. "We are going to have to defend the nation in this area—that is our role."

The biggest challenge facing this convergence approach will be changing the existing military culture, Gen. Alexander allows. "Nobody is looking at the new mission and saying, 'That's the one the nation needs right now because nobody is doing it.' That's what we need to do," he states.

The full article is available at Gen. Alexander will expound on his plans in his keynote address at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, Baltimore, June 25-27 (

SIGNAL Magazine is the award-winning monthly journal of AFCEA, serving the critical information needs of government, military and industry decision makers active in the fields of C4ISR, information security, intelligence, research & development, electronics, and homeland security.

AFCEA International, established in 1946, is a non-profit membership association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security. For more information, please visit

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