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The Cybersecurity 202: Government may be too slow to tackle cyberthreats, outgoing NSA attorney warns

February 03, 2020 / Joseph Marks

Outgoing National Security Agency General Counsel Glenn Gerstell says hacking threats from China and other U.S. adversaries pose as great a challenge to the country as climate change. And the government and private sector risk moving too slowly to respond. “You look at all the manifestations of technology and it has been a tsunami hitting us within a 20-year period,” said Gerstell, who retired after four years as NSA’s top legal official on Friday. “The rate of change is so significant and its impact … is so exceptional that I fear we run the risk of thinking too conventionally about it.” Gerstell's alarm bell comes after years during which the U.S. has failed to stem the tide of significant hacks from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea -- and as a wave of new innovations such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G telecommunications networks could radically expand the damage adversaries can do in cyberspace.