Agency engages key leaders and experts for frank discussion on cyber security Nearly 700 experts from the cyber community—half of which were new to the DARPA cyber community—joined Agency and other Defense Department cyber leaders in Arlington, Va. at DARPA’s “Colloquium on Future Directions in Cyber Security,”Monday. A general agreement by all attendees was rapidly reached; changing how we deal with defense of the nation’s cyber assets is critical to national security moving forward. “New capabilities are needed… We need more and better options.” said DARPA Director, Regina E. Dugan. Three themes emerged from the Colloquium:
- Malicious cyber attacks are not merely an existential threat to our bits and bytes; they are a real threat to an increasingly large number of systems that we interact with daily from the power grid to our financial systems to our automobiles and our military systems.
- Modern warfare will demand both cyber and kinetic capabilities. In cyber, we are capability limited, both defensively and offensively.
- Our existing efforts are necessary. These efforts represent the wisdom of the moment. But, we need to increase the speed at which we develop effective cyber capabilities, as well as the number and diversity of those involved in the process of cyber innovation for the DoD.
During the Colloquium, DARPA Cyber Program Managers provided the audience with a glimpse of some of the Agency’s ongoing cyber programs. These include programs likePROgramming Computation on EncryptEd Data (PROCEED) that, if successful, would eliminate the vulnerability of ever having to expose data to others by allowing efficient computation on encrypted data. And, Cyber Fast Track, a program designed to streamline government contracting procedures, while adhering to Federal Acquisition Regulations and applicable laws, to allow small firms employing the best and brightest in cyber to contribute cyber solutions to DoD efforts. New efforts, yet to begin, were also highlighted—such as the Active Authentication program. DARPA Director, Dr. Regina E. Dugan ended the day-long conference with a challenge and call to action to all attendees and the rest of the cyber community to contribute to the defense of cyberspace. “Our responsibility is to acknowledge and prepare to protect the Nation in this new environment,” said Dugan. DARPA presentations from the Colloquium may be found here.