In a keynote speech to the opening session of TechNet Europe 2016 on board the SS ROTTERDAM this morning Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer for the US DoD, told delegates he was not entirely satisfied with the preparedness of the defence community vis-à-vis its readiness to deal with the challenge of the cyber security world.. “We’re not making enough people with the right skills worldwide – we definitely need more than we have right now,” he said, speaking to the issue of ensuring the right people are in place with the right tools, attitudes and capabilities t to respond to the rapidly changing threat environment.
Addressing the conference’s principal theme: “Changing the Game in Security: New Role for C4ISR,” he focused on the issue of human resources as a critical one to be overcome before implementation issues can be resolved. “I worry a whole lot more about the people than I do about the technology: we do not have a unique set of problems here,” he said.
He sees the necessity of change as paramount – in process, in capability development and in resource management. “This is going to be another extremely disruptive period in IT: the pervasive nature of the cyber threat is evolving and accelerating rapidly and our systems and processes are not keeping pace. We don’t know what will happen in the future – but we pretend we do and the result is that today we are still fielding legacy systems.”
If a $50,000 cyber-attack tool can take down and nullify a multi-billion dollar supposedly secure communications systems, “who is on the wrong side of the cyber-economic curve,” he asked.
He did not paint a picture of utter doom and gloom, however – he stressed that a better, more productive relationship with industry is not only a prerequisite for better performance, but is an issue in the making: it is beginning to happen. The imperative for change in this respect – for a new way of doing business – was a theme echoed by other representatives of national and institutional organisations in the keynote speech session.. A receptive audience of over 200 delegates from nations across Europe and North America is readying itself for more insight – and potentially for more encouragement.