NEWS | Oct. 19, 2015

CENTCOM hosts cybersecurity conference

By By Cpl. Jordan Belser, CENTCOM Headquarters

MACDILL AFB, Fla. (October 8, 2015) – Effective and secure communication plays a vital role in the success of U.S. military and non-military operations, especially those that take place in Afghanistan.)

U.S. Central Command and Army Brig. Gen. Peter A. Gallagher, director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers hosted a cybersecurity conference here this week to discuss the current status of the Afghanistan Mission Network (AMN).

Members of the AMN Security Accreditation Board (SAB) and CENTCOM leadership were in attendance. The AMN SAB, comprised of foreign military officials and government civilians from NATO countries, is the approving authority for the communication and information systems which the AMN utilizes.

The AMN itself facilitates the sharing of information and data through a common communications infrastructure, and is used by NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and U.S. coalition partners alike.
Gallagher says cyber threats transcend state borders and organizational boundaries.

“Vulnerabilities associated with any connected partner nation are a risk to us all,” Gallagher said. “For this reason, I challenge the [SAB] to focus on cybersecurity focus areas and strategies.”
Gallagher also stressed teamwork and the need to have a plan in place should the AMN fall under attack.

“We need to organize rapid response procedures in the event of a malicious cyber incident,” Gallagher said. “We also need to leverage each other’s cybersecurity best practices and lessons learned.”
The four-day conference is scheduled to conclude Friday.

MACDILL AFB, Fla. – Norwegian Navy Cdr. Frode Rieger, Afghanistan Mission Network Secretariat (far right), goes over AMN policy October 7 during a cybersecurity conference here. Rieger spoke on the importance of cybersecurity, and how it enables U.S. and NATO partners to communicate securely over a common network, enhances interoperability and facilitates the sharing of information. (U.S. Central Command photo by Marine Cpl. Jordan Belser)