Former NSA Director Keith Alexander Is "Really Impressed" Over Donald Trump's Approach to Cybersecurity
Feb 14, 2017 03:30 AM EST
After a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump on cybersecurity, former National Security Agency (NSA) director Keith Alexander said he was “really impressed” with how the president has been directing his administration towards solving cyberattacks.
"What I saw was a president who was now very focused and asked each person questions, listened to them, weighed what they said and how they said it... took in advice, commented back," Alexander said during the RSA Conference in San Francisco. According to the retired general, Trump is the president that the country needs due to his persistence in solving cybersecurity concerns.
Alexander was in control of the NSA when ex-contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the agency’s surveillance programs. He stopped working as director for the NSA in 2014 and is currently the CEO of his own company- IronNet Cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity meeting at the White House was carried out last January 31, when Trump was assumed to be signing an executive order on cybersecurity. However, the order signing was put off with no explanations, as reported by CBS.
Government officials, both current and former, attended the meeting despite differing views over cybersecurity. Former Sen. Dan Coats and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were present along with Trump’s national security adviser Gen. Mike Flynn and adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, Tom Bossert, to name a few.
In an interview with ZDNet, Alexander clarified that there were opposing views during the cybersecurity meeting, but it was not necessarily “confrontational.” He also pointed out several possible changes that can be expected from the government’s cybersecurity policies, including the protection of federal networks and data, modernization of IT systems, and collaboration with the private sector for increased security, among others.
The protection of digital assets remains a must for all agencies, thus the need for ample resources to ensure such security. After assessing all federal agencies, he pointed to the weaknesses of agencies such as the Office of Management and Budget. “We left them on their own to defend themselves as if they were individual people out there… but they're not,” Alexander added.