NSA to create new division to bolster US cyber defences

Focus on defensive operations comes amid mounting geopolitical tensions

The USA's National Security Agency (NSA) is setting up a cyber security division with a specific focus on guarding the country against attacks from foreign adversaries like North Korea and Iran.

The organisation, which is tasked with overseeing America's cyber security operations, will establish a group dubbed the Cybersecurity Directorate with the aim of unifying foreign intelligence and cyber defence missions, according to CNN.

This new directorate, which has an exclusive focus on defence, is being formed amid rising geopolitical tensions with countries like Iran, against which the US was widely reported to have launched a cyber attack in June.

The group will be led by the NSA's lead investigator on election fraud, Ann Neuberger, and will become operational from 1 October.

"This new approach to cyber security will better position NSA to collaborate with key partners across the US government like US Cyber Command, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Bureau of Investigation," the NSA said.

"It will also enable us to better share information with our customers so they are equipped to defend against malicious cyber activity."

The NSA is renowned for its focus on offensive cyber capabilities and also gained notoriety for its role in devising a series of programmes to orchestrate mass data gathering, as revealed by the Edward Snowden leaks.

Most recently the organisation was indirectly linked with a devastating hack on the government of Baltimore. Researchers learned the tool used to shut down the government and lock people out of essential services, dubbed EternalBlue, was developed by the NSA and used by cyber criminals.

This additional focus on defence reflects a time of heightened tensions across borders, not just between the US and Iran, but with China too.

Both nations, as well as North Korea, have been linked with a handful of known cyber gangs. The NSA's decision to create a defence-centric unit comes as the scale and severity of cyber attacks continue to rise.

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

What is cyber warfare?
Security

What is cyber warfare?

22 Sep 2020
How to enable private browsing on any device
privacy

How to enable private browsing on any device

22 Sep 2020
Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity
social media

Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity

21 Sep 2020
Ransomwiz lets you test your security with simulated ransomware
ransomware

Ransomwiz lets you test your security with simulated ransomware

21 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package
Google Android

Google Pixel 4a review: A picture-perfect package

18 Sep 2020