Cyber Awareness and Exercises Key

It has long been true that policy in the cyber realm has lagged behind the technology. That’s one reason why President Obama’s 2009 Cyberspace Policy Review was so important, because it laid out steps to ensure that the nation’s cyber infrastructure can support the US economy and national security goals, said Melissa Hathaway, senior advisor to Project Mivera, Harvard University’s cyber security initiative with the Defense Department and MIT. She spoke last week at AFA’s inaugural CyberFutures Conference in National Harbor Md. Hathaway said the cyber conversation at a national level must be led at the top, and she called for strengthening federal leadership and accountability on cyber security, including the White House’s cyber coordinator’s responsibilities. Realistic live exercises, just like the military carries out regularly, are critical to building strengths and finding weaknesses in cyber security, she said. They are especially important now since the National Cyber Incident Response Plan is currently still in draft form, she asserted. There is also an overriding need to bridge the conversation between the technical and policy communities, Hathaway said. “The geeks must be able to talk to the wonks,” she said during her March 31 address, recalling a colleague’s thoughts.