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Special Assistant to the President for Cyber Delivers Lecture at USNA

  POSTED ON: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 9:54 AM by MC3 Josiah Pearce

Special Assistant to the President for Cyber Joshua Steinman delivered a lecture on cyber security to midshipmen, faculty, and staff in Alumni Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy, Tuesday, Nov. 19.

During his lecture, Steinman discussed the future of cyber operations and provided advice for navigating a career in cyber warfare.

“What I learned most from this lecture was how undefined the cyber domain is right now,” said Midshipman 4th Class Jeffrey Peters, who aspires to enter the cyber community. “Our traditional definitions of warfare, which western civilization has used for so long, don’t really fit within the realities of global warfare.”

After the lecture, Steinman answered questions from midshipmen, many of which focused on the use of cyber security practices and their effect on national policy. Steinman also met with a group of midshipmen and faculty to further discuss how the field of cyber security impacts the Naval Academy.

“The line between war and peace in cyberspace is ambiguous at best,” said Marine Corps Maj. David Serrano, a cyber security studies instructor. “Many countries carry out nefarious acts in cyberspace that they would unlikely attempt in the physical world. Cyberspace gives these adversaries asymmetric ways and means to attack. It is therefore in the best interest of our naval force to train, educate, and engage our future naval officers in cyberspace as a warfighting domain.”

Holding degrees from the University of Chicago and Georgetown, Steinman has had a mixed career as a naval officer, serving both in the United States and abroad, and as a senior private sector executive in Silicon Valley.

“As the Special Advisor to the President on Cyber, Mr. Steinman's unique perspective coming from the National Security Council provides an inside glimpse on cyber security coming from a whole of government viewpoint, where he plays a critical role in coordinating all of the various cyber security efforts from across the executive branch,” said Serrano. “This unique viewpoint from a senior White House official is one which midshipmen rarely get to see until much later in their careers, so getting a chance to interact with Mr. Steinman during his time at the Naval Academy was a great opportunity from both a cyber security and professional development perspective.”

The Cyber Lecture Series brings highly accomplished leaders from across the Department of Defense, U.S. Government, and private industry to USNA. These leaders provide articulate, thoughtful, and diverse viewpoints across cyber policy, law, warfighting, technical innovation, private and public partnership, and high-level lessons learned. This exposure allows midshipmen to expand their views and knowledge base within the cyber domain, with the goal of sending better informed, better prepared, and more lethal naval officers to the fleet.

As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.