TALLINN, Estonia –
U.S. Cyber Command participated in the eleventh bi-annual Cyber Commanders Forum CCF11, in late October. CCF11 is a strategic event where Cyber Commanders from allied and partner nations discussed the role of public-private partnerships in defending critical national infrastructure.
The Estonian Defence Forces Cyber Command hosted this year’s forum with 44 multinational members in attendance. The forum provides National Cyber Commanders the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas on cyberspace education, training, exercises, and operations. The theme for CCF11 was public-private partnerships.
CYBERCOM senior leaders spoke on the responsibility of the U.S. military in supporting the defense of critical infrastructure from malicious cyber actors, the importance of international partnerships, and how the command works with public and private partners to reduce the attack surface within critical networks.
During his keynote address, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, deputy commander, CYBERCOM, explained how partnerships enhance the command’s capabilities and posture the United States to respond to threats in cyberspace.
“The comparative strengths of our nation and our collaboration with our allies and partners give us the advantage,” Haugh said. “We can expose the activities of our adversaries attempting to have an impact either on our partner nations or, from the United States’ perspective, on our democracy,” he added.
CYBERCOM remains persistently engaged, and its defend forward strategy leverages key partnerships to generate insights and enable real-time information sharing that addresses cyber risks that could impact U.S. national interests and our partners.
“As we talk about the role of the military in defending critical infrastructure, I think it is important to reinforce the military plays the away game,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Heidi K. Berg, director of Plans and Policy, CYBERCOM. “At home, you have other law enforcement and protection agencies that have those domestic responsibilities.”
Berg reiterated that CYBERCOM has found with critical infrastructure, in particular, there is a confluence of efforts when managing risk. Adversaries can and do target and exploit the gaps and seams between public and private infrastructure. This is why CYBERCOM efforts to strengthen partnerships in this domain is essential.
CYBERCOM partners with industry and academia to leverage the best insights, talent, and innovations. These partnerships act as force multipliers, increase the command’s competitive advantage, and drive mission success.
U.S. Air Force Brig Gen. Chad Raduege, director of Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber (C4), U.S. European Command, also spoke at the forum, discussing the strategic value of information sharing in countering common cyber threats.
Raduege commended CYBERCOM’s daily Interactions and partnership efforts with each of the combatant commands, other agencies, and organizations.
“This is creating the unity of effort we look for … and shows the power of the alliance coming together,” Raduege said.
The Cyber Commanders Forum was established in 2015, and Cyber Commanders from member countries serve as the forum’s chair for one calendar year. U.S. Army General Paul M. Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, served as chair of CCF9 and CCF10. The current chair is Estonia.