Toward “Active” Cyber Defenses?

The Defense Department believes “passive” cyber defenses such as firewalls are insufficient to meet a burgeoning threat, reports Gen. Norton Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff. Schwartz, speaking to an audience in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Pentagon officials think “we require more active defenses.” DOD seeks to “create dynamic virtual environments, instead of allowing static networks to remain vulnerable,” said Schwartz. He said DOD officials are pushing “promising technologies” such as cloud computing and massive network polymorphism. These techniques “can reduce the ability for potential aggressors to hunt through our networks” and cause aggressors to leave “forensic evidence of intrusion,” which will be useful for determining the source of an attack, he said. The Air Force on Monday released Schwartz’s remarks, which he had delivered earlier at a National Homeland Defense Foundation conference.