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NEWS | June 10, 2024

ASD(A) Cyber Warfare and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Convene Workshop to Discuss Cyber Challenges Faced to Safeguard Critical Infrastructure

By U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs

From April 16-18, 2024, more than 90 experts in the fields of cybersecurity and operational technology throughout the Indo-Pacific region gathered to analyze and discuss the cybersecurity challenges of critical infrastructure in today’s constantly evolving cyber contested environment at the ‘Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Defense in the Indo-Pacific Region’ workshop, held in Honolulu.

The event focused on cybersecurity standards for operational technology, critical infrastructure cyber threat landscape and interdependencies within military installations infrastructure. Additionally, participants addressed cyber security governance of critical infrastructure, resourcing challenges, and identified areas for improvement.

“The resilience of critical infrastructure is foundational to security of the whole of the government and prosperity of the society,” said Dr. George Ka’iliwai, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command J8 Director. “Our adversaries in general and the PRC in particular are exhibiting dangerous actions towards our critical infrastructure, and we must be prepared to defend against this defining threat of our generation.”

USINDOPACOM Requirements and Resources Directorate (J8) co-hosted the workshop with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition’s Cyber Warfare Directorate and supported by the representatives from Idaho National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, National Security Agency, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, Military Departments, and leading industry partners.

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment) Cyber Warfare Director, Mr. John Garstka, emphasized that “cyber warfare capabilities can be the differentiating factor in a conflict. Here and now, we are already operating in a cyber contested environment with threats that didn’t exist before. Our critical infrastructure is continuously attacked by range of malicious cyber actors with varying objectives targeting mission essential tasks and assets. Just as cyberspace is the fifth domain of warfare, cybersecurity of our critical infrastructure must be treated as a warfighting issue.”

Elaborating on the themes and outcomes of the workshop, the USINDOPACOM J8 and OUSD (A&S) CWD are planning future events focusing to deepen the engagement with international partners from the Indo-Pacific region.  These two organizations are committed to continue bringing best practices, address coordination mechanisms, develop operational technology competences and strengthen partnerships to better defend critical infrastructure with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners.

​About USINDOPACOM J8:

The U.S. INDOPACOM Requirements and Resources (J8) facilitates the development of USINDOPACOM requirements for the Future Years Defense Program, translated those requirements into material and non-material solutions through advocacy, science and technology, innovation, and experimentation.

About ASD(A)’s CWD:

The Cyber Warfare Directorate (CWD) conducts capability portfolio management for cyberspace operations and conducts mission‐level cyber risk assessments in support of Joint Staff, Services, and Combatant Commands, and integrates findings into relevant Integrated Acquisition Portfolio Reviews.