Page 44 - Cybersecurity Career Guide for Alexandria College
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careers: CYBERCOM and DC3
Front and
The Pentagon’s main cybersecurity unit, CYBERCOM, disrupts the sources of cyberattacks.
Fears ahead of the 2020 U.S. elec- tion that foreign hackers would interfere with the vote thankfully proved unwarranted. Indeed,
the federal Department
of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infra- structure Security
Agency declared that the election was “the most secure in American his-
tory.” One reason for that great result was efforts made by the U.S. Cyber Com-
mand (CYBERCOM), the Pentagon’s main cyber- security unit, in conjunc-
tion with the National
Security Agency (NSA), to harden defenses of voting systems nationwide and to dis- rupt foreign threats to the vote.
CYBERCOM, which is only 11 years old,
is one of 11 unified combat commands of the U.S. Defense Department. Why was it involved in election security efforts?
Well, its mission includes working to strengthen America’s ability to
withstand and respond to cyberattacks, as well as
supporting the global mis- sions of combat command- ers and defending the Pen-
tagon’s information network. It’s based at the NSA’s head-
quarters at Ft. Meade, MD. The agencies have what’s called a
“dual-hat” structure, be- cause the director of the NSA is also CYBERCOM’s commander.
CYBERCOM could be a
great place to work for students who are interested in working in cy-
bersecurity but who are also intrigued by the secret world of spycraft. While it was
initially set up to have a defensive pos- ture, today it often plays offense. As the New York Times reported earlier this year, in the early days of the internet, cy- ber attacks were expected to evolve into a new type of warfare. Instead, hacking has become a widely used tool of state- craft. “Hacking is coming to play a role in the 21st century much like espionage did in the 20th,” the Times noted. By often working in conjunction with the NSA and

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