U.S. Senator Says Nation Is 'On Point' with Cybersecurity

Although recent cyberattacks have affected U.S. agencies, one Congressman believes that the Army Cyber Command is completely prepared to take on any future hacks.

by Wesley Brown, The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. / September 8, 2015
(TNS) -- The Army is up to the task of fighting cyberattacks, Georgia’s senior U.S. senator says.

During a tour of Fort Gordon on Friday, Sen. Johnny Isakson said he was confident that the Army Cyber Command and related missions remain “on point” in intercepting international hacking operations that have compromised federal databases.

Though he could not discuss specifics about how U.S. intelligence plans to respond to foreign spy services aggressively hacking federal data in the past year, Isakson said senior Pentagon officials are doing all they can to prevent future cyberattacks and strengthen the nation’s digital defenses.

In June, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reported that China hacked its database and stole Social Security numbers and other personal information of more than 20 million federal workers.

“It is an everyday battle,” Isakson, R-Ga., said of intercepting cyberattacks. “Around the world, bad guys are trying to hack into our systems and we are trying to defend ourselves. As we develop defenses for new hacks, there will be a new guy who develops a new approach.”

After officials at the Pentagon and Fort Gordon briefed him on cyberdefense missions nationwide, Isakson said, the U.S. is now “ahead of the game” and “working hard to see to it that defending cybersecurity is the No. 1 priority of our country, Congress and United States military.”

He said that moving forward, Fort Gordon is “probably the most important base in the U.S.”

By 2019, the Army Cyber Command will complete its move to Fort Gordon, adding 4,700 cyberdefense jobs to the area’s workforce.

“It is the cyber center of the United States military and … the point of the spear in terms of investment in future national defense,” Isakson said of Fort Gordon.

Accompanying Isakson on his tour was U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, the ranking Democrat on the House Appro­pria­tions Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.

Bishop, of Albany, Ga., said he and other congressional leaders plan to work with the Augusta Commission and Georgia’s General Assembly to ensure Fort Gordon has the funding, infrastructure and transportation it needs to be “one of the greatest contributors to national security.”

“The vision, foresight that has manifested here is tremendous,” Bishop said of Fort Gordon. “I am clearly excited and reassured to know that here we have the best, brightest and most innovative warriors for our military anywhere in the world.”

©2015 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.