General Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency's Cyber Command provided insights as to how cloud computing will support both a growing mobile force as well as how it will help to eliminate costly inefficiencies in information technology. He feels that a 30% to 40% saving in IT budgets are achievable. In addition, the ability to connect a mobile field force through a secure cloud environment will provide enormous benefits in communication.
Alexander elaborated on the threats of cyber-terrorism. He said that they sometimes see breaches in cybersecurity that have gone undetected for as long as 9 months. So he is trying to the change from a static defense to one of an active defense. "We need got to have people who can hunt for our adversaries [and] at the boundary we need to put systems on the boundary that are dynamic…that can be tipped and speared at industry speed...We need to leverage the global cryptologic system."
Alexander also discussed the nature of how the U.S. Cyber Command could utilize open source technology. "We started with hadoop and we expanded it to add in security layers... data tagging and identity layers." He feels that its it is another mechanism for cost containment.
Alexander was also asked what role GEOINT played in cyber security. " Go back to our partnership in Iraq. It shows how NSA and NGA worked together," said Alexander. He said that looking at where things are going on helps put things in context by placing them on the map. "The NGA has been superb in doing that," he said.