• United States



Kurtz: “Militarization of Cyberspace is Here”

Feb 22, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

In the opening address at the Black Hat Federal security conference in Arlington, VA, Paul E. Kurtz urged the nation to begin a new discussion on the proper role of government in regulating and defending cyberspace. Kurtz said a clear command and control structure was needed to protect our critical information infrastructure and recover from major Internet disruptions.

The speech was especially significant since Paul Kurtz recently served as the cybersecurity adviser on President Obama’s transition team. Kurtz has also served on National and Homeland Security councils under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Bill Jackson at outlined the major points from Kurtz’s presentation. Here are a few highlights:

“To those who object to the militarization of cyberspace, I would say, it’s too late: We’re already there,” Kurtz said.

“He said the United States should apply some of the lessons learned during the Cold War to cyber conflicts now simmering online. Cyber warfare is not as simple as the bipolar confrontation between the Western democracies and the Soviet bloc, Kurtz said. It is multilateral standoff involving multiple nations, shadowy organizations, and individual hackers and criminals.”

 While we wait for the outcome of the new administration’s 60-day cybersecurity review, this speech offers some new ideas and thoughts that should be closely examined. Many from the private sector will likely disagree with elements of Kurtz’s proposals, but they deserve serious consideration and public debate.

While I am a proponent of state government rights, it is clear that more needs to be done with state and local governments across the nation regarding the protection of cybersecurity networks and information assets. New command and control structures will likely be needed as well – especially for emergencies.

The bigger questions arise with the private sector and how this will work with the Internet and other countries.

What are your thoughts on Paul Kurtz’s speech?     


Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist and author. During his distinguished career, Dan has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, including enterprise-wide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan State Government. Dan was named: "CSO of the Year," "Public Official of the Year," and a Computerworld "Premier 100 IT Leader." Dan is the co-author of the Wiley book, “Cyber Mayday and the Day After: A Leader’s Guide to Preparing, Managing and Recovering From Inevitable Business Disruptions.” Dan Lohrmann joined Presidio in November 2021 as an advisory CISO supporting mainly public sector clients. He formerly served as the Chief Strategist and Chief Security Officer for Security Mentor, Inc. Dan started his career at the National Security Agency (NSA). He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US / UK military facility. Lohrmann is on the advisory board for four university information assurance (IA) programs, including Norwich University, University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), Valparaiso University and Walsh College. Earlier in his career he authored two books - Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD For You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. Mr. Lohrmann holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Bachelor's Degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

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