Human Training Still Key to Cyber Defense

Despite the need for constant technological innovation in the digital realm, the best defense against cyber attacks is not a new weapon system but strict human security procedures, said Air Force Space Command's Vice Commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Basla last week.

Despite the need for constant technological innovation in the digital realm, the best defense against cyber attacks is not a new weapon system but strict human security procedures, said Air Force Space Command’s Vice Commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Basla last week.

“In the constantly changing domain [of cyber] I think we need stability, which is where we need to lay the foundation of our defenses,” said Basla during an April 1 speech at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference on cyber-war. “My definition of cyberspace defense is the convergence of trained people and disciplined processes, employing technology to defend information and information flow.”

As the number two man at AFSPACE, Basla helps oversee the air service’s cyber fighting-arm, 24th Air Force.

He went on to point out that chasing technology, especially in the speed-of-light cyber domain is an uphill battle isn’t as sound of a strategy for cyber defense as “stability and deliberate processes” on the human side of the fight.

He went on to make it clear that this didn’t mean the service should “stop trying” to keep up with technology in the age of Moore’s Law, adding that the AIr Force would “do our best” to stay ahead in the cyber tech game, but that there is almost no way to always stay ahead of every tech threat in an age where it is so easy to develop serious cyber weapons.

Key to developing these processes is streamlining the number of Air Force networks and standardizing training on them, he added.