Military faces challenges in embracing technology

Challenges include developing tools and infrastructure, and changing the way people think about information sharing, military official says.

Technology has profound positive and negative effects on the nation's security today, a military official said Monday.

Cyber terrorism is a good example, Robert Kehler, an Air Force deputy commander at the U.S. Strategic Command, said at the TechNet International conference lunch that opened with prayer and a pledge to the flag.

Cyber terrorism is "cheap and fast" and moves at the speed of information, he said. It is more anonymous than traditional methods and can appear in different forms, Kehler said, adding that terrorists seek media attention.

But the technology also brings new ways to protect the United States and its allies, Kehler said. Battles cannot be fought without reliable and real-time information, he said. The challenge is adapting to that reality while working hard to use technological security to gain an advantage.

Other challenges include developing tools and infrastructure, as well as working to change the way people think about information sharing, he said. Data must be collected so that it always can be shared, he said.

The nation needs data standards, communication tools, Internet centricity, data sharing and data-management tools, Kehler said. Officials need to realize the important role that culture plays in how people approach problems, he added.

Information sharing is changing communication around the globe, Kehler said. The technology has had profound effects on security and military strategy, while adversaries now have the ability to move across borders that are and are not defined, he said.

Also speaking at the event, Timothy O'Hara, a chief information officer at the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, said security failures often result from people creating too many new networks.