Collaborate against the cyber threat
Raytheon CEO speaks on Capitol Hill about strengthening cybersecurity
Collaboration and partnership between industry and government are critically important to meet today’s cybersecurity threats, Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy told a gathering of lawmakers, Congressional staffers and defense industry representatives.
Kennedy spoke at an Aerospace Industry Association event on Capitol Hill as part of National Aerospace Week. The industry is facing increasingly complex and aggressive cybersecurity threats that are challenging the nation and its military personnel in the field, he said.
“Cybersecurity is becoming more and more of an important issue,” said Kennedy, the association’s vice-chairman. “It's a matter of national security and the safety of our infrastructure and our warfighters.’
The event, held in the Mansfield Room inside the U.S. Capitol, was hosted by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), co-chairmen of the Senate Aerospace Caucus. Also speaking were Association President and CEO David Melcher and Essye Miller, deputy CIO for Cybersecurity for the Department of Defense.
Businesses and organizations face a range of cybersecurity threats, including nation states looking to steal intellectual property or destroy infrastructure, criminals interested in stealing and selling personal data, hacktivists hoping to accomplish a political goal, and insider threats involving employees with poor online security habits, Kennedy said.
He encouraged the industry and defense department policymakers to work together to help small and medium-sized suppliers meet new, internal cybersecurity standards, identify and fix any potential cyber weakness in existing defense systems – a process known as “cyberhardening” – and help recruit and develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
The nation's future success in combating cybersecurity depends on a trained workforce that understands the issue and is able to build the next generation of protections, he said.
The nearly century-old AIA is the nation’s biggest trade association, representing more than 340 U.S. aerospace and defense companies and suppliers. The industry supports more than 2.4 million American jobs, Kennedy said.
“It’s a source of what I like to call noble jobs,” he said. “We provide our highly skilled employees with the opportunity to live the American Dream; afford a home, raise a family, pay for their children to go to college and save for a comfortable retirement, while also serving a larger purpose.”