By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsApril 25, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- A cyber cell has been established at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command to coordinate, prioritize, and synchronize cyber efforts and cyber operations across the command.
Rob Goldsmith, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Cyber Integration director, began March 3 to lead the command's cyber cell. His job is to lead the cyber cell and the command's Cyber Action Group to conduct analysis, develop strategy and coordinate cyber work with primary staff elements, the Technical Center and the Future Warfare Center.
SMDC's senior leader spoke of Goldsmith's experience in the cybersecurity field and how he is the right person to integrate all of the command's cyber efforts to improve its cybersecurity posture.
"Due to the growing importance of cybersecurity for our workforce and our mission, I am pleased to announce the establishment of a dedicated cyber cell to complete and maintain our Cyber Campaign Plan and to ensure our vulnerabilities are identified, prioritized and quickly addressed," said Lt. Gen. David L. Mann, SMDC commanding general.
Goldsmith said he was brought in primarily to lead a small cell at SMDC with the mission to integrate all of the cyber activities across the command. He is also tasked to synchronize SMDC efforts to help assess the risk cyber has on the command's mission systems and networks.
"My job is not to do the cyber things already being done in the command, but to flesh out what those things are, help synchronize them and find out where there are gaps in activities and advise senior leaders so they can reduce our risks in regard to cyber," he said.
Goldsmith reports directly to Julie Schumacher, deputy to the SMDC commander and co-chair of the Team Redstone Cyber Executive Steering Group.
Participation in the steering group includes SMDC; U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC; Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space; PEO Aviation; Redstone Test Center; Threat Systems Management Office; Missile and Space Intelligence Center; Defense Acquisition University and other organizations on Redstone Arsenal.
The goal of the group is to synchronize and coordinate organizational investments in cyber to gain efficiencies and build out a Redstone Arsenal cyber testing environment for mission systems.
"We are already very engaged," Goldsmith said. "SMDC is in a leadership role on the arsenal in the Team Redstone Cyber Executive Steering Group. We have nearly every organization on the installation participating in this group to synchronize all of our cyber activities for Redstone Arsenal.
"The biggest thing we are working on right now is a Team Redstone Cyber Exhibition in early 2017 to demonstrate to key external stakeholders from the national capital region how cyber investments made in Redstone Arsenal organizations have been executed in a coordinated way to stand up an enduring, reconfigurable, cyber test environment to help them achieve mission assurance with regard to cyber," he added. "We want to bring in folks who don't really understand what value we have here at Redstone Arsenal and physically show them what we bring to bear technically. Redstone Arsenal and the local defense industrial base is a national asset that should be a leader in achieving mission assurance in a cyber-contested environment."
In 2015, as the Cyber lead for AMRDEC, Goldsmith stood up the AMRDEC Cyber Campus, now the Cyber Engineering Center, on Redstone Arsenal. The campus was established to support multiple levels of security enabling the cybersecurity team to uncover, dissect, and report on system vulnerabilities.
"My main focus is 100 percent mission assurance," Goldsmith said. "There are a lot of components to mission assurance and cyber is certainly one of those. Our goal is to reduce the risk to our critical missions. SMDC is responsible for missions that are critical, not just to the Army, but to the Department of Defense, and other services and agencies, and we have got to do everything we can to reduce the risk to those critical missions that a cyberthreat introduces."
Goldsmith said the command is a complex organization with strategic missions on which oftentimes Soldiers rely but that they do not even know are provided by SMDC.
"It is an honor to actually be involved with SMDC and contribute any way I can and help this great command," he said. "I like being around Soldiers. It has been a while since I have been around an operational unit and it is very refreshing. SMDC gets me closer to why we do what we do, and that is supporting our Soldiers in theater and protecting the homeland. The mission set that SMDC has is one that we should be very proud of."
Goldsmith said AMRDEC is very technical in everything they do, such as designing cybersecurity into tactical systems. He said what the four years as the Cyber lead for AMRDEC did for him was to give a very detailed look at cyber considerations across the system development lifecycle.
"People tend to define cyber based on what they do day in and day out," Goldsmith said. "The truth is, it is a very broad term and encompasses a lot of different things. One of the biggest things to consider is that every individual is a potential entry point for our adversaries to gain access and compromise our systems.
"We have to be diligent as an individual in how we safeguard our information; how we safeguard our computer systems; and what we talk about when we are outside our organization," he added. "We just have to exercise good operational security, and I think that is our personal responsibility. Think about the implications before you do the simple things like clicking on that link, or talking about your work out in public, or what you put on social media. Even those things can be exploited."
Identified as the fifth warfighting domain; along with air, sea, land and space, cyber is different from every other domain because it is the only man-made one. In cyber, the advantage goes to the attacker more often than with the defender.
"We have to think differently about cyber than we have done with anything before," Goldsmith said. "We have to think outside our traditional ways and find people who think outside the box. We have to recruit people with different skill sets and different backgrounds. We have a lot of work ahead of us."