Given the speed and breadth of access to the Internet as well as the anonymity cyber attackers enjoy, defense agencies must constantly monitor threats rather than simply responding to attack, said Gordon Snow, the FBI’s assistant cyber director, Thursday at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference in National Harbor, Md. “I’m not going to [be successful] if I’m looking at things on a case-by-case basis,” said Snow. He underscored the importance of a “threat-focused cell” concept where small agency teams focus on specific areas of concern. “Many of the things we see . . . are a small focused cell of individuals that are just doing an extreme amount of damage. So 1,000 intrusions . . . could be the work of four or five people,” he noted. The threat-focused approach necessitates close interagency cooperation. Intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies as well as the private sector must actively share pertinent information in a timely manner to be successful, he said. “That’s not just domestic—that’s world-wide,” said Snow.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.