Gen. Hayden: Private Sector Must Lead Fight Against Cyber-Threats
NEW YORK—Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former National Security Agency director, had a gloomy message for corporate IT security managers: You are on your own in the cyber-security war.
That was one conclusion from a provocative talk by Hayden at a customer event held by security vendor Centrify here May 11.
"Your government is and will remain late to need in providing security in the cyber domain," he said. "You are going to be more responsible for your security [there] than you have been responsible for your security [in the physical realm] since the closing of the American frontier in 1880 or 1890."
Hayden said cyber-security is not just a U.S. government problem: "Government is too slow to operate up here—all governments, and now we Americans have this additional built-in caution to protect our privacy against government intrusion."
Retired U.S. Gen. Michael Hayden says it's up to the private sector to defend against most cyber-threats because the government can only deal with a "thin slice" of the incidents.
Government should be able to handle certain types of cyber-threats, he said, attacks that threaten loss of life, destruction of property or lasting economic damage. But that's a very small percentage of actual attacks. For the rest, we are on our own. "Even the Secretary of Defense is telling you the next sound you hear is not the digital bugle of the digital cavalry coming over the ridge to save the day."