Lynn Contrasts Military-Cyber Defense

DoD No. 2 Leader Addresses Europeans on Cybersecurity Partnership
Lynn Contrasts Military-Cyber Defense
Defense Deputy Secretary William Lynn III, speaking at a roundtable in Brussels on Tuesday, contrasted traditional military defense with cyberdefense.

Cybersecurity, Lynn said, as reported by DoD's Armed Forces Press Service, "is not a problem like air defense, where you would look to the government alone to provide the solution." Lynn said cyberdefense must include nongovernment entities including businesses.

Lynn's comments came at a public/private-sector cybersecurity roundtable sponsored by Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe. The roundtable included representatives from private companies, colleges and think tanks.

The No. 2 Defense Department official spoke of the need for a public-private partnership to defend cyberspace, saying government should provide resources to help the private sector secure critical IT, but not dictate how to do so, a point made by private-sector participants. "I got the same message here as I did in the States," Lynn said.

He explained that in the United States, DoD works closely with defense contractors to protect networks and data. Initially, he said, the defense firms worried about sharing proprietary information, but now see value in sharing. "Many of their fears have fallen away, and we have a very good two-way street with them," Lynn said.

Lynn acknowledge that the fears haven't totally dissipated, though defense contractors see their data as being protected. "They are gaining a much better understanding of what the threat is, where it is coming from and how other people are dealing with it," he said. "Essentially, the rising tide is lifting all boats in its ability to protect."

Lynn is in Europe to discuss cybersecurity cooperation with NATO.

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