NSA Launches New Unit to Tackle Foreign Threat

Written by

The NSA has announced a new unit tasked with taking on foreign adversaries like Russia and China in cyberspace.

The Cybersecurity Directorate, which will be operational from October, is to be led by Anne Neuberger. She previously led an NSA unit known as the Russia Small Group which was set up to manage the threat from Kremlin hackers during the recent mid-terms.

It will reportedly “unify NSA's foreign intelligence and cyber-defense missions and is charged with preventing and eradicating threats to National Security Systems and the Defense Industrial Base.”

NSA director and Cyber Command boss Paul Nakasone announced the new directorate at a speaking engagement at Fordham University.

“We have two missions and for a number of years, NSA has been very active in what was called the information assurance mission. We are re-emphasizing that mission under the Cybersecurity Directorate under Anne Neuberger's leadership,” the agency said in a series of live tweets from his speech at the event.

“The Department of Defense can’t wait for our adversaries to come to us. Working with our allies, we will defend forward. It’s a strategy that now accepts the fact that we have to get involved early on. The American public should rest assured that there will be consequences for taking the US on.”

The threat to national security from state-sponsored attackers has never been greater – whether it’s sabotage of smart systems and operational technologies, theft of sensitive military and other IP, breaches of information on key personnel or interference in elections.

Given that critical infrastructure is mainly run by private companies, attacks are often targeted at this sector.

Just last week, Microsoft revealed that it had warned 10,000 customers they had been targeted by nation state attacks over the past year. This included 742 political organizations including NGOs and think tanks, with 95% of them based in the US.

If there are attempts by foreign nations to disrupt the 2020 US Presidential election, preparations will certainly be well underway by now.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?