FORT LESLIE J. McNAIR, Washington, D.C. -- The Army Cyber Institute at West Point, N.Y., and U.S. Army Cyber Command continued to foster dialogue and share ideas among thought leaders and rising stars in the cyber operations community with the second in a series of daylong "Cyber Talks" at the National Defense University's Lincoln Hall here, March 18.
The sessions are designed to foster creative solutions and build intellectual capital in cyber operations. The March 18 event included eight speakers from industry and the operational community, plus two lunchtime breakout sessions. The attendees from across the National Capital Region included members of the Army and joint military communities, as well as a variety of other government and industry partner agencies. Organizers said the 260 participants represented a significant increase since the first Cyber Talks event in September.
Col. Gregory Conti, director of the Army Cyber Institute, opened the session by highlighting how the Army cyber operations community has advanced in a short time.
"It is really an exciting thing to see everybody come together," said Conti. "You get a sense of the community. By bringing everybody together you realize how much we are on the same team."
Each of the day's sessions included a 20-minute presentation followed by at 15 minute question and discussion period.
The sessions were kicked off by U.S. Navy Capt. Sean Heritage, executive assistant to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command. Heritage talked about the importance of shaping the culture of the cyber operations workforce. Rick Howard, chief security officer for Palo Alto Networks, introduced the Cybersecurity Canon Project, which was created to develop a core professional list to help cyber defenders continue their professional development and foster innovation.
Army presenters included Col. Carmine Cicalese from the Department of the Army staff, who discussed information operations in support of cyberspace operations; Capt. Roy Ragsdale of U.S. Army Cyber Command, who encouraged cyber practitioners to think of their profession as a set of new and original principles, rather than by analogy.
Lunchtime breakout sessions included discussions on the development of special warfare in cyberspace led by Lt. Col. Patrick Duggan, an Army Special Operations officer currently serving as an Army War College fellow to the Naval Postgraduate School, and professionalizing the cyber workforce, led by Maj. Jason Zeruto of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber).
Other speakers included Drs. Aaron Brantly and David Gioe from the Army Cyber Institute; physical security expert Deviant Ollam; and Christopher Cleary, a Naval Reserve officer and DoD client partner for Verizon.
Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command, provided brief closing remarks to the day's presentations.
"One of our key tasks [is] to develop a strong cyber narrative. We need a culture of constant improvement, adaptation, and innovation," the general said. "How do we create that culture? Through events like this."
In addition to the presentations and discussions, the event provided opportunities for networking among attendees and speakers.
Event organizers said planning for the next Cyber Talks event, expected to take place in the National Capital Region in the fall is under way. Information on past and future Cyber Talks, including recordings of all previous talks, are available on the Army Cyber Institute website at cyber.army.mil.