The U.S. government-backed cybersecurity framework for the nation’s federal agencies and critical infrastructure sector—released one year ago today—has received a general thumbs up of approval from industry experts, who say the NIST guideline is proving a successful advent toward a better understanding of cyber risks and organizations’ vulnerabilities.
Where sequestration had been the focal point of discussions only 24 hours earlier, Wednesday at West 2015 featured force modernization as its focal point. Military, civilian government and industry leaders discussed modernization plans as well as the ailing defense information technology acquisition architecture.
Unlike other postwar cycles when the military downsized, the current environment is more dynamic and hostile than any other postwar period. So, the military does not have time to reset itself and adjust to a new mobilization.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is rolling out a new open source collaboration service to facilitate secure Web-based conferencing and chats throughout the Defense Department, and is expecting to save millions of dollars over the legacy enterprise, officials say.
The technological lead the U.S. military has over its adversaries could be a fleeting one as repeated budgetary cuts have bled funding from research and development coffers while rivals grew their technology prowess, offers Adm. Jonathan Greenert, USN, the Navy’s top military officer.
The U.S. Army, which purchases vast numbers of tactical radios, will no longer do so through sole-source contracting, vows Maj. Gen. Daniel Hughes, USA, PEO-C3T. Competing every single contract is designed to create a radio marketplace that fosters innovation while saving time and money.
The U.S. Air Force is striving to become a multi-domain warfighting unit in the air, in space and in cyber, according to its chief information officer. However, attaining the same degree of supremacy in cyber that it currently enjoys in the air domain may prove a far more daunting task.
An intelligence network being developed at the Pentagon will enable military leaders to monitor disasters as they happen. The network will provide a common operating picture, allowing officials to better plan for and react to events adversely affecting the critical infrastructure and the military mission.
The next big cyber attack likely will strike critical infrastructure assets in the United States, which could bring the world’s remaining superpower to its knees, according to cybersecurity experts. This would constitute a crippling assault against national assets such as power facilities, transportation networks, nuclear plants or the drinking water supply, these experts warn.
Much has been said and written about the U.S. Defense Department’s move to the cloud. This migration could provide enhanced security and better information access, say many experts. But it could provide another huge benefit, helping the Defense Department finally curb information infrastructure costs and apply badly needed funds where they would be most useful.