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Cybersecurity Experts Highlight Challenges of Information Warfare

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Cybersecurity Experts Highlight Challenges of Information Warfare

Information warfare serves as the current biggest challenge for cybersecurity professionals amid the ubiquity of actors launching deepfake and disinformation efforts, according to cybersecurity leaders. 

Chris Johnson, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Cybersecurity Operations Center, said information warfare disrupts the baseline level of trust that organizations need to put on their modern information technology infrastructure. 

“On the government side, we don't think that much about brand management. It's something our partners in private industry are very concerned about and monitor the internet for very specific attacks against their brand, like social media, deepfake videos," Johnson said. 

He added that brand-targeting deepfakes are something that most traditional cyber defense analysts are trained to deal with. It is a new discipline that requires exploration and workforce training, Johnson said. 

Deepfakes are a type of synthetic media that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to replace a pictured person's likeness. 

Chet Wall, technical director of the Air Force's 688th Cyberspace Wing, said federal security analysts must drastically improve their critical thinking skills to counter cyberattacks during the disinformation era. 

He added that analysts should have the knowledge and awareness needed to cross-reference different types of attacks and attackers to learn their intent. 

“As an analyst you have to be able to not only identify malicious behavior, but also the intent as well to find out exactly what that individual was going after because you can probably identify their next steps in an attack,” Wall said during an event hosted by FCW. 

Security professionals can also learn to adopt the same tricks that malicious hackers use to undermine the federal government's cyber defense, he added.  

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Tags: Air Force artificial intelligence Chet Wall Chris Johnson cyberattack cybersecurity deep fake disinformation FCW GovernmentCIO Media information warfare IT infrastructure machine learning National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Popular Voices security analyst social media U.S. Air Force