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Evolution of Cyber Requires Change As Normal Concept, Rogers Says

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Sept. 19, 2017 — The cyber world will look quite different in two years and five years than it does today, Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said today.

Speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference here, the admiral addressed defending the newest frontier and breaking the cyber barrier.

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Ever-evolving

Because cyber is ever evolving, “The idea that we’re going to stick to a specific construct, a specific set of operational practices, or a specific set of skill sets over time, I think, is very flawed,” said Rogers, who is also the chief of the Central Security Service.

The Defense Department must become used to change as a normal component of the cyber mission set, and what the implications of that change are, he said.

Cybersecurity and the broad fundamentals he said he would highlight are cyber’s ability to bring together multiple perspectives and multiple organizations to achieve the desired outcome.

“The idea that the DoD all by itself is just going to defend its networks [is not] going to get us where we need to go,” the admiral noted.

Four Focus Areas

“When we look at what we should be defending, … the four things I tend to focus on [are] networks, platforms, weapons systems, and data,” Rogers said.

“As we’re trying to build a future for us from a joint perspective within the DoD, we are very focused on those four areas increasingly,” he added.

‘We’re also asking ourselves: ‘What do we need to evolve to? What does the future look like?’ It’s not necessarily where we are today,” Rogers said.

Open To Ideas

Rogers said he’s grateful that DoD’s leaders tell commanders and intelligence professionals to be open to the idea the future is going to be different from the past.

“The underlying principles remain fairly consistent over time, but the way we go about achieving [and] organizing to achieve them evolves over time,” he said.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)