Thursday, July 21, 2011

DoD Cyber Defense Plan Draws Fire (Yet Again)

Michael Hardy and John Zyskowski write on

In announcing its latest plan to improve the security of military and related mission-critical networks in the public and private sectors, the Defense Department dutifully acknowledged once again that cyberspace is a new domain in which it must defend the United States and its vital interests.

But cyberspace is unlike any other battlefield the Pentagon has encountered before, and the military is clearly struggling to develop operational ground rules for this complicated new domain where the lines are often fuzzy between DOD and civilian activities, war and peace, and the good guys and the bad guys.

The difficulty of the task for DOD officials is evident in just how messy and prone to criticism the process of creating a cybersecurity policy has become. However, there is little doubt that a strategy is crucial. At the July 14 press conference for the plan’s unveiling, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn also disclosed that in March, a “foreign intruder” was able to steal 24,000 files pertaining to cutting-edge weapons systems from the network of a defense contractor.

As an illustration of the messiness, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, made the unusual move of publicly criticizing the plan’s defensive orientation hours before Lynn officially released it.
More here.


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