The DOD Information Operation (IO) Center for Research, located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), is in the final planning stages for its 2018 Cyber Endeavour conference, this year hosted by the University of Texas, San Antonio on June 19-21, 2018.
Since 2011, Cyber Endeavour has been held annually, bringing together top military and civilian practitioners from across government, industry and academia to address the nexus of cyberspace and national security. The event is comprised of presentations and panel discussions that focus on a central theme, this year’s focus is cyber and the future of military affairs.
“Cyberspace is becoming more and more important to our everyday lives,” said DOD IO Center Director and NPS Professor Hy Rothstein. “Whether it’s the transmitting of information, routine financial transactions, or power plant and weapons systems reliability, they all use computers that link to the outside world, making them vulnerable. From the military perspective, our technology makes us vulnerable, we have to be able to harden our systems and take advantage of enemy cyberspace vulnerabilities.
“Technology is evolving so rapidly today that 2025 is about as far as we can accurately see into the future. It is important to understand how cyberspace will affect the ways the military will operate, even in just a few short years from now,” he continued.
Serving as keynote speaker for this year’s event is Peter W. Singer, political scientist and the author of “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know” – Singer will be offering a futurist’s view of military affairs. Other speakers include Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey; the first commander of Army Cyber Command, retired Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez; in addition to senior members of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) as well as faculty from Texas A&M University.
“Many of the attendees are from academia, the policy world and industry, and industry is really leading the development of cyber security technologies,” said Rothstein. “The civilian world is investing a lot of money in protecting critical infrastructure and the military benefit from what is going on in the civilian sector. That’s why we bring together experts from both realms for Cyber Endeavour. This also helps industry understand the needs of the military.”
The event also includes panels on the future of global cyber operations, and includes discussions on how cyber can support combatant commanders that will be led by leaders from industry, CYBERCOM and the unified combatant commands. Additional talks will include discussions on legal and ethical issues on cyber cooperation.
“Cyber education and training is relatively new for military leaders. I think going forward, military leaders are going to need to understand cyberspace to better plan and carry out military operations,” said Rothstein. “That’s why these conferences are so important.”
In addition to the three-day Cyber Endeavour conference, the related Cyber X-games, an exercise involving the National Cyber Force, will simulate the protection and exploitation of networks through a variety of scenarios from June 10-17.
“During this year’s X-games, we will bring in top scholars and technical experts from the cyber community to help educate and train our National Cyber Force to defend networks and exploit enemy networks when necessary,” Rothstein continued.