US National Security Agency’s Cyber Offensive

The US is enhancing its stance towards cybersecurity. A new cybersecurity directorate is being established as the National Security Agency’s (NSA) foreign intelligence and cyber defense missions will collaborate. It is thought the NSA’s new arm represents a more aggressive stance by the NSA to engage more in cyber-offense in the fight against foreign adversaries 

NSA Director and Cyber Command Chief General, Paul Nakasone (pictured)  reportedly believes there is a lot of room for improvement for cybersecurity in the struggle with malicious nation-state hackers. 

The new directorate is intended to once again make security a priority by combining it with the NSA’s foreign intelligence projects and increasing its focus on both national security networks and the defense industrial base.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the move forms part of a wider effort to more closely align the agency’s offensive and defensive operations.

Much like the UK’s GCHQ cybersecurity arm, the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), the NSA’s cyber-security directorate will aim to protect the US from foreign adversaries by sharing more information with other federal agencies and the private sector.

The incoming directorate which is expected to be in full effect by October 1st will be led by Anne Neuberger, leader of NSA’s Russia Small group which deals with Russian cyber threats.  

The primary goal for Neuberger is to actively use signals intelligence gleaned from expanded operations against adversaries. This will improve communication between the NSA and essential corporations within the United States government, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and US Cyber Command. 

Anyone could be susceptible to cyber-attack and have valuable information specifically made for them leaked to an adversary. The internet holds all kinds of information ranging from the military realm all the way to banking. If someone gets their hands on information stemming from one of these areas mentioned above, many lives could be ruined. 

IHLS:          Wall Street Journal

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