In a speech to the audience of the Symantec Government Symposium, General Keith Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, said that only a close collaboration between the private industry and the government can meet this goal.
"We can defend this space. But we're stuck at the starting line figuring out how we're going to do this," he said. "That's going to be the push you see from the administration and Congress, and should be the push from business and the American people. We all have these devices. We all benefit by having secure devices that our children and grandchildren can get on and call from securely."
One of the major challenges is, according to Alexander, to understand the nature of attacks, which are growing more and more sophisticated. "The biggest problem is education," Alexander said. "Most people do not technically understand the network." The fact that mobile devices are now always connected to data and are being integrated into critical environments with access to important information would require "a defensible architecture," he said.
The good news is that, even if that architecture is not available, the private industry and government both are willing to collaborate. AMD, Honeywell, Intel, Lockheed Martin, and RSA/EMC recently announced the formation of the Cyber Security Research Alliance (CSRA) with the intent to work with the government on cyber security technologies.