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Latest Cyber Endeavour Tackles Deterrence in and Through Cyberspace

U.S. Army ROTC Cadet Brendan Michel and his father Capt. John Michel participate in the Cyber X-Games, June 15 at Carnegie Mellon University, part of the annual Cyber Endeavour conference organized by the DOD Information Operations Center for Research located at NPS.

The DOD Information Operation Center for Research, located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), sponsored the 2017 Cyber Endeavour conference hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pa., June 20-22.
Since 2011, Cyber Endeavour has been held annually, bringing together top military and civilian practitioners from across government, industry and academia to address the nexus of cyberspace and national security. The event is comprised of presentations and panel discussions that focus on a central theme surrounding cyberspace and national security.
“Every day we hear about intrusions into our networks, networks that enhance our quality of life and are part of our national security infrastructure,” said DOD IO Center Director, and NPS Professor of Defense Analysis, Dr. Hy Rothstein. “Banking, health care and our national defense are all tied to cyber networks. To the extent these connections are vulnerable, our national security and our way of life are also vulnerable.”
The event was attended by some of the top minds in cyber defense, including senior flag officers, policy officials, academics, interagency officials and military operators, Rothstein says, making it one of the most content-rich cyber symposiums that the DOD has to offer.
“The way we design the conference is that we identify a theme that is relevant to national defense and dig deep into that theme through expert panel discussions to help promote a better understanding of how cyberspace affects us at all levels,” said Rothstein. “We look for the most knowledgeable and experienced people in their fields to participate in the symposium. We also invite senior officials and decision makers who can benefit from the discussions and presentations by these experts.”
U.S. Cyber Command recommended the theme for this year’s event, deterrence in and through cyberspace. The conference covered multiple topics, such as framing the deterrence problem, issues of non-state actors and proxies operating in cyberspace, and adversary deterrence strategies. The first day of the program was dedicated to threats, the second to concepts, and the third to solutions.
“I think the biggest thing that came out of this conference is that there was a realization that we have made significant progress in dealing with cyber threats over the past several years. But at the same time, we know there is a lot that still needs to be done,” said Rothstein. “The more we rely on sophisticated networks for national defense, and for routine conveniences in our lives, the greater the vulnerablity through cyberspace.”
The event was hosted by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, which provided the facilities and support structure for the conference and its related Cyber X games, an exercise involving teams simulating the protection and exploitation of networks through a variety of scenarios, as well as a tactical simulation of a hostage rescue through conducting cyber operations to weaken potential adversaries as well as enhance opportunities of the simulated rescuers.
“We have several faculty from NPS that participate on different panels, and I support and fund students to participate in the Cyber X games, as well as students who have an interest in cyber,” said Rothstein. “The people who attend, especially those from academic institutions such as NPS, the Naval Academy, West Point and other academic institutions, get a great understanding of a very complex new dimension of cyberspace, that helps educate them to be part of solutions for the future.”
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