Gen. Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and head of U.S. Cyber Command, told senators today he was optimistic about the future of U.S. cybersecurity, but also warned that Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections remain a threat.

Testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about Cyber Command and U.S. special operations, Gen. Nakasone responded to a question from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., that Americans should continue to be concerned about Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections.

“Senator, Russia certainly provides a very sophisticated threat to our nation and one that they have done over several years,” Gen. Nakasone said.

Cybersecurity was a top priority for U.S. Cyber Command during the 2018 midterm elections, the general said, adding that NSA and Cyber Command have made great strides in cyberspace to deter cyberattacks by foreign adversaries.

“Being able to educate the public is critical for us. The success that we had in 2018–more of our nation should know about,” Gen. Nakasone said.

Among the strides made by NSA were improved cooperation with global allies. Gen. Nakasone said that improved intelligence, improved cyber capabilities, and unique placement of allies have helped the U.S. maintain a strong cybersecurity presence on a global level.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.