Industry, military, academia to discuss cyber and national security

Published 26 November 2007

In a three-day meeting in Shreveport this week, experts from industry, the military, and academia will discuss business, national and military security, the politics of cyber and its impact on the military planning and execution of the future

Heavy hitters from the cyber and defense communities will be in Shreveport this week to take part in Fly and Fight in Cyberspace, a three-day symposium sponsored by organizations involved in creating Air Force Cyber Command at Barksdale Air Force Base. The event will be Tuesday through Thursday at the Shreveport Convention Center. “The cyber symposium brings together national experts, industry and academia for the first meeting of its kind to examine the relationships of cyber to national security, homeland security, commerce and education,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., commander of 8th Air Force. Elder’s unit has partnered with the Cyber Innovation Center, among others, to bring the symposium here. This week’s symposium offers speakers covering many topics, including business, national and military security, the politics of cyber and its impact on the military planning and execution of the future. Some 1,500 people had signed up for the symposium by the time online registration ended.

Note that the event will have an international flavor. Among those attending and speaking will be Lauri Almann, permanent undersecretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense. His topic will be a subject we have written about in these pages — “Cyber Attack!! — Estonia: A Real-World Example … and How They Recovered.” Estonia was the victim of a deliberate cyber attack by Russian nationalists — and probably agencies of the Russian government — this spring, an attack which virtually brought the small Baltic nation’s electronic infrastructure, banking, government, and education to a halt.

One of the industry experts attending will be David Aucsmith, Microsoft’s senior director of advanced technologies and cyber security. He thinks the impact of cyber technology, both as it relates to defense and industry, will be profound, and an area of prolonged growth. “I think it will be a large growth area,” Aucsmith told the Shreveport Times. “A substantial amount of my company, and other companies, is dedicated in one way or another to the defense of its infrastructures, in our case the products we build. Even when IT spending is relatively flat, that spent on security and IT security-related issues was a continuing upward trend. And I think that’s going to be there for us for some time.”