Juniper’s Bob Dix: The Cyber Epidemic Needs to be Addressed

Bob Dix, Juniper Networks

When it comes to good cyber hygiene, the U.S. government should take the same approach in educating the public as it did with the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, involving both private and public sectors to raise awareness of the hazard, according to a cybersecurity expert.

“Now, it’s a cyber epidemic,” said Bob Dix, vice president for U.S. government and critical infrastructure protection for Juniper Networks. “Why aren’t we educating people?”

As reported by Government Computer News, Dix was speaking on a cybersecurity panel Oct. 25 at the Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va. He and other panelists emphasized how despite the urgency and the severity of the worry, the nation’s overall cybersecurity is not strong enough. Sherri Ramsay, director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service’s Threat Operations Center, echoed that sentiment, saying the nation is a “soft target.”

Dix noted how agencies are familiar with cyber threats, but it is a question of degree.

“Nothing we’re talking about today is new,” Dix was quoted as saying by Government Computer News. “What’s new is the threat is more severe.”

Panelists said making it more difficult to penetrate systems involves implementing security standards, getting agencies to share information more readily and raising awareness among the public. Some of these steps are already ongoing, as seen with the work of NSA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in developing the Security Content Automation Protocols.

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