Modern field guide to security and privacy

Podcast: Intel's Chris Young on why the US needs a Cyber National Guard

Chris Young of Intel Security and Chris Wysopal of Veracode join The Cybersecurity Podcast to talk about hacker culture, threats from the Internet of Things, and the suspected cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid.

Tami Chappell/Reuters
Chris Young floats the idea for a Cyber Corps for young people to join the government or military for cybersecurity-related issues. Pictured: Private Gregory Jones traveling home from Fort Benning, finds a quiet place to send emails.

With Washington and Silicon Valley fiercely competing over skilled cybersecurity workers to join their ranks, Intel Security's general manager Chris Young has a way to bridge the gap: Start a US Cyber Corps.

Mr. Young discusses this idea on the latest edition of The Cybersecurity Podcast.

"It's almost like with the Peace Corps where you go serve, do this a year, two years, either after high school or after college," Young said. "It's a mass market thing when the government does it. You can really move the needle in terms of tens of thousands of people getting this training. Then they could stay in government, maybe go into the military, go into law enforcement, or they cold go into the private sector." 

Another model, he says, would be more like the National Guard – members would serve the US government part-time on cybersecurity-related issues, or they could be called up if there's a major incident. "Like in the National Guard, you'd get some benefit to it – training and compensation – but are also willing to respond if something goes wrong," Young says. 

The Cybersecurity Podcast team also chats with Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer of application security firm Veracode who is also known as Weld Pond in the hacker community. Mr. Wysopal discusses the cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid, ways to increase transparency about cybersecurity expertise at publicly traded companies, and why the L0pht hacking collective he once belonged to decided not to shut down the Internet in the 1990s.

The podcast is cohosted by Peter W. Singer, strategist at the New America think tank and author of "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know," and Sara Sorcher, deputy editor of The Christian Science Monitor's Passcode. It is available for download on iTunes and on Stitcher

You can find more information about the podcast on Passcode's long-form storytelling platform. Bookmark New America's SoundCloud page for new episodes or sign up for Passcode below. 

In the last episode of The Cybersecurity Podcast, Angela McKay, who runs Microsoft's public policy work on cybersecurity, discussed how the US government can develop robust international norms of behavior to deter criminal hackers when its own digital defenses need improvement. Elana Broitman, currently an attorney at Greenbert Traurig's Government Law and Policy Practice and a former Defense Department official, talked about the benefits of having cyberinsurance and how the Pentagon should think about buying cybersecurity products and services.

Also appearing in previous episodes was White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, who talked about the Obama administration's plans for sanctions to prevent online attacks, whether he's optimistic about the recent agreement between Washington and China to thwart cyberespionage, how the White House reacted to the massive Office of Personnel Management hack, and his push to increase the sharing of information between the government and private sector.

Mr. Daniel was joined by John McAfee, the security pioneer who just founded his own political party – the Cyber Party – and is running for President of the United States.


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