October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

In a time when Congress can agree to very little, cyber security funding appears to be one thing everyone can agree on – especially in defense.

The 2014 Defense budget put forward earlier this year allocated $4.7 billion for cyber-operations, up from $3.9 billion in 2013. This is interesting, considering cyber is one of the few accounts being plus-ed up in a time of fiscal austerity.

Likewise, the Defense Department is planning to develop a new cyber force consisting of more than 100 teams by 2016 - to include defense of military networks, damaging the capabilities of enemy networks and defense of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

In a June interview, Gen. Keith B. Alexander stated that “we should train everybody to the same standards as one team, one network.” But word on the street is, not everyone is getting a seat at the table. Reports indicate that the first generation of cyber-warrior training includes only one naval reservist.  

This will be a big problem moving forward, and even more so, considering approximately 90% of IT infrastructure in the U.S. resides in the private sector, where many organizations find it more costly to invest in computer security than not. 

Why is this alarming? Because according to a field study of 56 U.S. organizations sponsored by HP, cyber crime cost companies an average of $8.9 million per year for an average of 1.8 successful attacks per company per week, showing the lack of proactive security as being a major cause. Over the past three years, this financial impact increase of over 40%.

This is one major area that the Guard can help. In their full-time careers, many of our citizens soldiers and airmen are employed by leaders in technology and innovation. One picture says it all:










And this is just a small sampling of the citizen-soldier. Clearly the Guard can help beyond words in bridging the gap between the public and private sector.


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