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Army Gen. Keith Alexander: “We have an enormous challenge ahead of us as a nation, as a department and as a command.“

Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, head of Cyber Command, expressed the importance of Internet security in an address at an event held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

He explained that while it has provided countless opportunities, the Internet has given terrorists, criminal groups and individual hackers a platform to access unauthorized information, which places a threat on national security. Protecting the digital infrastructure has become a top priority to the Defense Department.

“Our data must be protected,“ he said. “We have an enormous challenge ahead of us as a nation, as a department and as a command.“

Alexander referred to the military’s massive and critical data system, which has over 7 million machines in over 15,000 networks. The protection of these networks is essential to national safety due to the military’s dependence on it for logistics, commands, intelligence and operations.

In order to strengthen the defense against cyber attacks, Alexander mentioned his approach as to how he plans on achieving this goal within the next few months. He explained that improving partnerships and communications between the U.S. departments, establishing a comprehensive department-wide cyberspace approach and centralizing the command are all key initiatives to securing an effective defense against cyber threats.

He also gave credit to his department. He explained that the people within the Cyber Command and National Security Agency are key to the completion of these objectives.

“Cyberspace is among the most important current and future challenges the DoD and our nation faces,“ he said. “It is a privilege and an honor to be part of our cyber team.“

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