Nakasone: 2018 Midterm Elections a Success in Feds’ Cyber Efforts

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Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of National Security Agency, updated lawmakers on the federal government’s efforts to deter foreign interference in past midterm elections, Fifth Domain reported Tuesday. At the meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee, he said the government’s initiative to monitor cyber events and impose consequences on adversaries was effective.

“We have been able to show effectiveness against, primarily, in this case the Russians, as we take a look at our midterm elections,” Nakasone said. However, he noted they have yet to determine if the success might lead to long term change in the adversaries’ behavior.  

USCYBERCOM adopted the new “persistent engagement” and “defending forward” approach to boost protection during past elections. Persistent engagement allows the command to have constant contact with adversaries in cyberspace, while defending forward involves getting access to adversary networks or infrastructures to get insights.

Other officials at the Senate meeting said the changes in how the command addresses threats and new authorities from the White House and Congress provide agencies the flexibility to act against cyber attacks.

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