Post Event Summary
The cyber threat is one of the most serious challenges the U.S. currently faces. At an AEI event on Monday, Gen. Keith B. Alexander of the National Security Agency argued that this threat represents the greatest transfer of wealth in history. He further emphasized that it is both possible and necessary for the government to take action to address this threat by training cyber experts, building a defensive architecture, increasing situational awareness and by passing new legislation that protects the country while preserving civil liberties. Furthermore, for America's defensive measures to be effective, said Gen. Alexander, information must flow to those tasked with defending the country at network speed.
An expert panel then debated the severity of the threat and discussed who should take responsibility for securing U.S. information, security and wealth. Michelle Van Cleave of the Homeland Security Policy Institute and George Washington University characterized China's current espionage efforts as inadequate "law enforcement strategy." Jeff Snyder of Raytheon Company emphasized the threat that disgruntled employees and foreign infiltrators pose to private industry. Jim Harper of the Cato Institute concluded that there is no apocalyptic cyber threat, advocating that the private sector — not the American taxpayer — should be responsible for protecting its own secrets.
President Obama has called the cyber threat to the U.S. “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face.” The U.S. federal government is a frequent target, but the corporate world is also under siege. Chinese hackers are especially problematic, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recently reported that Chinese government cyber capabilities would pose a “genuine risk” to the U.S. military if conflict ever broke out.
Experts continue to disagree on solutions. How dire is the threat posed by Chinese hackers? Can government action solve the problem, or does the solution lie with the private sector? General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, will give the keynote address, which will be followed by a discussion among a panel of experts and practitioners.
Full video will be posted within 24 hours.