CyCon US 2017
CyCon is meeting in Washington, DC, today and tomorrow. Organized by the US Army Cyber Institute and NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence, the conference's theme is the future of cyber conflict.
Today's morning keynotes stressed some familiar themes: the reality of the cyber threat, the growing importance of cyberspace as an operational domain, the increasing rate of change, the centrality of artificial intelligence to future cyber operations, and the importance of collaboration.
A few highlights worth mentioning include Army Cyber Command's Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone's characterization of data as "the new high ground, the new key terrain." The US Army, he said, is working to push cyber capabilities to forward-deployed forces. An important sign of this is the degree to which the Army now gives Brigade Combat Teams cyber elements to use in their regular training rotations.
Ambassador Marina Kaljurand, former Estonian Foreign Minister, discussed some lessons learned from Estonia's experience of coming under sustained cyber attack in 2007. She stressed the importance both of political will and a whole-of-nation approach to effective cyber defense. She also warned that the lines between different forms of conflict have become blurred, and they're growing progressively less distinct.
Dr. David Brumley, of Carnegie Mellon University, spoke about the future of autonomy. Human labor doesn't scale, he said, which is why work on artificial intelligence is both necessary and practically inevitable. He described his experience working on automated detection of software vulnerabilities, and the conclusion he drew from that experience: "We can teach computers to hack."