Retired Navy Admiral talks cybersecurity risks at USC Aiken

Published: Feb. 16, 2017 at 12:10 AM EST
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News 12 NBC 26 News At 11 | Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- He was an Admiral in the Navy, but now he works to protect America from threats online.

He gave a crowd at USC Aiken even more reasons as to why a new cyber training center along Augusta's Riverfront will be so important in fighting a cyber war. The man spent time talking about the need for more workers in America's fight against cyber-terrorism.

The threats are high for a national cyber attack. That's what Retired Navy Admiral William Fallon spoke about in front of a crowd at USC Aiken, saying years of growth still leave cyberspace as insecure as ever.

"The foundation of all of this was the internet, inherently insecure," Fallon says. "It wasn't designed to be secure. It was intentionally designed for ease-of-access, anonymity, open-sharing."

Fallon spent years as four-star Admiral and Chairman of the cybersecurity company CounterTrack, as well as 41 years in leadership positions across several commands of American government.

He spoke about different tiers of hacking levels and how the cyber frontier is still exploitable with not enough workers ready to handle threats years down the road.

"The internet has lots of these," Fallon says. "And because software is complex and getting more complex, it's almost guaranteed that there are going to be issues in there and these people are clever enough to exploit these."

He says while programs are still on the rise in our area and around the country, more will still be needed for whatever attack, physical or cyber, comes next.

"There are not going to go away," Fallon says. "This isn't going to suddenly get well. It's not going to be self-healing - somebody's going to push a button and it's magically going to all be wonderful."

The Retired Admiral also spent time talking about whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assanges of Wikileaks. He says nearly 75 percent of cyber incidents happen from domestic threats, including some who've worked for their government.

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