Hyten said the Air Force planned to expand its cyber workforce of about 6,000 by 1,200 people, including 900 military personnel.
He said it took the Air Force decades to explain the central importance of space-based assets for warfare, but did not have time to wait with cybersecurity.
“We have to do this quickly. We cannot wait. If we just let decades go by, the threat will pass us screaming by,” he said.
Hyten said the Air Force was trying to leverage investment in cybersecurity already being made by private industry, but still had work ahead to improve its interface with the companies that operate the largest computer servers, and any agreements would have to benefit both sides.
“We have to bring resources to the table,” he said. “They don’t stay in business by doing things for free.”