The keys to establishing a robust cybersecurity framework for defense agencies include having strong partnerships with industry, innovation based on best practices, and efforts to cultivate a strong workforce.

Those were central takeaways from National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director David Luber and Coast Guard Cyber Command Commander Rear Admiral Mike Ryan at C4ISRNET’s Cybercon 2021 event on November 10.

“I like to think of cybersecurity as a team sport and about a year ago, the National Security Agency opened up our Cybersecurity Collaboration Center,” said Luber. “This center was set up principally to defend the Defense Industrial Base and help protect those contractors that are providing support to national security systems development and capabilities.”

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In the Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, Luber said the focus is on developing joint analytics to allow for better understanding of what NSA sees from its foreign intelligence mission and what industry analysts are seeing on their own networks.

He added, “innovation is something that’s a must” and “something that [NSA] is working every day on, especially in the area of analysis and joint analysis.”

In terms of workforce development, Ryan said it’s important to cultivate an understanding of connecting the traditional, physical-domain mission that the Coast Guard has always executed with the new cyber domain, and then viewing that through an operational lens.

“Now, it doesn’t stop with just hiring an expert workforce,” said Ryan. “We also have to make sure that we provide development programs for those students when they join us so they can continue their learning. We have about 30 new employee development programs that focus on everything from language development to computer network operations to cybersecurity and many other programs,” he said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.