The 2019 International Conference on Cyber Conflict U.S. (CyCon U.S.) will take place 18-20 Nov 2019 in at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.  

This year's theme is Defending Forward

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) 2018 Cyber Strategy identifies the need for active preparedness in cyberspace by “defending forward,” defined as disrupting or halting malicious cyber activity at its source and degrade said activity before it can reach its intended victim. This preemptive strategy advocates defending resources, from military operations to financial institutions, in both the public and private sectors. Critical infrastructure and sectors of the economy that are considered vital to the nation’s economic prosperity are consistently scrutinized and exploited by a number of well-known cyber tools and techniques.

The defending forward strategy features a unique change from the previous strategies - the private sector is encompassed within the strategy as an ally, pivotal to defending the nation’s networks. Internationally, the Brussels Summit in 2018, resulted in a decision for the Allies to create a Cyberspace Operations Centre as part of the NATO command structure. Nationally and internationally, government, academic and commercial entities are encouraged to engage in a relationship that is mutually beneficial and enables situational awareness of potential cyber campaigns.

CyCon US 2019 will explore defending forward at an unclassified level and in the context of:

  • how it could be encapsulated by government, military, academic, and commercial entities;
  • how to make cyber positions and policies clear with respect to mitigating risks of unintended escalation;
  • how policies need to be modified to allow a functional relationship between public and private sectors;
  • the conditions that must be met for an organization to take actions defined as defending forward;
  • how defending forward may interact with the traditional principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity in international law;
  • how and what precautions should be acknowledged to mitigate collateral and secondary damages for both public and private sectors;
  • how government, military, academic and commercial organizations can build and maintain resiliency in their networks after an exploit

CyCon U.S. is a premier conference on cyber conflict. It provides a venue for fresh ideas, relevant and actionable content, insight into future trends, and access to industry, government, and military leaders, cyber innovators, and pioneers in the discipline. The conference promotes multidisciplinary cyber initiatives and furthers research and cooperation on cyber threats and opportunities. 

CyCon U.S. is a collaborative effort between the Army Cyber Institute at the United States Military Academy and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.  CyCon U.S. complements the CyCon Conference held every spring in Estonia.



Featured Speakers



Chris Inglis Geoffrey Starks Heather K. McMahon

Managing Director at Paladin

Former Deputy Director of the NSA

Federal Communications Commission

Senior Director
President's Intelligence Advisory Board

Timo Koster
Timo Koster David Luber Mike Rogers

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Executive Director
United States
Cyber Command

Former Congressman
Michigan's Eighth Congressional District


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