Cyber experts and technology leaders congregated at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, June 21-23, for Cyber Endeavour. Focused on the theme, “The Internet of everything and the impact on national security,” Cyber Endeavor is an annual conference designed to tackle the ever-evolving challenges of securing military and civilian networks from cyber attacks.
“Cities represent the highest level of advancement in a civilization,” said Dr. John Arquilla, Chair of NPS’ Department of Defense Analysis. “We have to develop our own resilience against cyber-attacks for today and tomorrow.”
Cyber experts point out that much of the infrastructure for metropolitan areas across the globe such as power grids and water treatment plants precedes the Internet, which brings a plethora of challenges for those trying to defend it.
"We are taking advanced technology and connecting it to old infrastructure," said Arquilla. "This opens the possibility for cities becoming vulnerable to strategic attack."
A panel discussion during the Cyber Endeavour fixated on defining the term “cyber city.” Cyber experts suggest it may not be a concept with a single, true definition, but one which is constantly changing or in flux.
“Cyber city is this wonderful marketing tool right up there with Web 2.0 and the cloud,” said Cmdr. Pablo Breuer, Operational Security Officer at NPS. “I think what we are talking about is the use of automation to support the population density that we now have in an urban environment.”
Cyber warriors must have a diverse skill set to work successfully in supporting and defending cyber cities. These skills include the ability to expect, predict and assess threats while working in a team environment. Representatives from the private sector also participated in Cyber Endeavour, highlighting the importance collaboration plays in defending cyber cities for both the military and civilian sector.
“More partnerships with government and other entities in the cyber security realm will be critical in the effort to reduce the likelihood of a breach happening,” said Jim Patterson, American International Group.
Cyber Endeavour is an event co-sponsored by the 335th Signal Command (Theater), DOD Information Operations Center for Research, and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental.