The Defense information Systems Agency (DISA) cyber development executive, John Hickey, said earlier this month he views new Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) as a sort of new infantry and also asserted the agency spends about $1 billion per year on cyber operations to defend the network.
Hickey commented on these issues while speaking to two CPTs assigned to DISA headquarters, CPT 90 and 94, during a capstone training course held on Sept. 6, the agency said Monday.
In his remarks, Hickey focused on protecting the Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN) and references DISA-provided tools in the teams’ arsenal including the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), Host-Based Security System (HBSS), internet access points, and Cyber Situational Awareness Analytical Capabilities (CSAAC).
“I’m excited to see you guys added to the force. I’ll say you are almost like the ‘new infantry’ in my perspective because on the cyber domain — it is a domain — we’re being attacked daily and we need people who can hunt key terrain,” Hickey said.
He also highlighted DISA spends about $1 billion annually on cyber operations to protect DODIN. This amount changes daily and the network is exposed to numerous threats, Hickey said.
“It’s important to understand the state of the network today and really understand the behavior … so when there are changes to that behavior on key terrain, you are the gap filler for what our tools can’t see. A lot of that is going to be coming from your gut and that’s [developed] through training and exposure,” he said to the CPTs.
“The CPTs are the critical link. We can have the best tools in the world, but it still takes [people] to figure out what’s going on,” Hickey added.
The training course consists of mandatory online and classroom training, leading up to a one-week capstone course that is offered to DISA’s CPT members. The final capstone has students participate in real-world scenarios in a simulated non-production environment. It aims to increase their proficiency level and demonstrate their ability to react to real-world threats.