US remains vulnerable to serious cyberattack

U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander says America isn’t ready for a serious cyberattack, and while defenses are getting stronger, there is still more work to be done, reports FCW, a sister publication of Defense Systems.

The country rates only a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 in cyber-readiness, Alexander, who is  U.S. Cyber Command commander and National Security Agency director, said July 26 at the Aspen Institute’s annual security forum in Aspen, Colo.

The complexities of defending public and private networks against potential attacks on critical infrastructure are part of the problem, as well as a Cold War-era mentality that is slow to dissipate, he said. 

Mobile technology is also increasing cyber dangers, with mobile attacks nearly doubling over the past year, according to Alexander, who declined to offer a specific number of attempts on U.S. networks at the Aspen appearance.

“The attack surfaces for adversaries to get on the Internet now include all those mobile devices,” Alexander said in a DOD news release summarizing his Aspen remarks, adding that mobile security isn’t as comprehensive as more traditional desktop computer and landline defenses.

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