In the midst of a global cyberspace crisis, the U.S. Defense Department faces many hurdles in its effort to protect and defend government computer networks. According to an unclassified version of a previously issued classified report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), several cyberspace capability gaps exist. The U.S. Cyber Command is decentralized and spread across various offices, commands, and military services and agencies, which makes the supporting relationships necessary to achieve command and control of cyberspace operations unclear. In response to a major computer infection, the U.S.
The Pentagon has begun to reassign some organizations within the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) as part of its planned shutdown as a four-star combatant command later this summer. Among the organizations reassigned, and their new homes:
The Defense Department's FY 2012 budget proposal features $2.3 billion for improved cyber capabilities, according to figures released this afternoon. Key elements of that funding include $0.5 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to invest in cyber technologies. Funding also will be provided to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for cyber identity, monitoring and enforcement.
The budget will increase funding for training cyber analysts, for improving Global Information Grid (GIG)-wide situational awareness, for developing pilot programs for supply chain risk management and for improving intrusion detection and analysis.
With the number of acronyms and abbreviations used within the U.S. Defense Department, military documents can quickly become alphabet soup. But apps available for the iPhone or Android can help break down the meaning behind thousands of commonly used terms. Developed by Inner Four Inc., the U.S. Military Acronyms and Abbreviations app for the iPhone and iPod Touch defines terms used by the armed forces in both joint and allied joint operations. It covers current abbreviations and acronyms used by the Defense Department.
In less than 30 days, the U.S. Defense Department will dish out 11 prizes for innovative solutions to real-world challenges facing digital forensics examiners. And it's not too late to join the fight against cyber crime. Submissions for the 2010 Defense Department Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge will be accepted until November 2.
Part 2 of 2
Defense Department IT budgets are now fully mortgaged to support ongoing operations and maintenance, while most large development funds are still paying for continuation of programs that were started years ago. With regard to the concerns I've raised in my previous post, here are some ideas on what should be done:
First of two parts.
According to Air Force LTG William Lord, 85 percent of cyberoperations are in defense. That being the case, How should the Defense Department protect its network and computer assets? A 2009 RAND Corporation report on cyberdeterrence asserts "...most of the effort to defend systems is inevitably the ambit of everyday system administrators and with the reinforcement of user vigilance." The report also states "...the nuts and bolts of cyberdefense are reasonably well understood."
On the heels of an announcement from U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates where he proposed eliminating the positions of assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration along with the J-6, the push to make the Defense Department more efficient continues. The INVEST Awards contest will reward the 25 best ideas submitted by department employees with cash prizes.
The U.S. Defense Department's hub for all things social media has undergone a serious facelift, complete with tips, tricks and lessons on how to share information responsibly and effectively.
The Social Media Hub was redesigned to help members of the Defense Department community understand what constitutes proper use of Internet-based capabilities. The new site contains learning resources, detailed department policies and procedures, and social media guides for each military service branch.
Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, the head of the new cyber command, stated that the Defense Department needs situational awareness across DOD's networks to protect its cyber defenses: "We do not have a common operating picture for our networks. We need to build that."
The Defense Department is responsible for protecting more than seven million machines, linked in 15,000 networks, with 21 satellite gateways and 20,000 commercial circuits. Unauthorized users probe Defense Department networks 250,000 times an hour, or more than six million times per day, he added.
"The difference there is [that] we don't want to prioritize and think just in terms of 'how do we secure information' without thinking through our real objective of assuring support for DOD missions."--Mark Orndorff, director of the PEO for Mission Assurance and Network Operations, DISA
The U.S. Defense Department has announced its policy on "Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-Based Capabilities"--in less formal words, its social and new media policy. This is the DOD's first official policy on new media. It states that the NIPRNET default will be open access so that all of the DOD can use new and social media. Under this policy, prohibited content sites such as gambling sites will still be blocked, but otherwise there will be open access across the department.
President Obama's Open Government Initiative is underway, and the government wants to hear from you. What are your ideas on open government? Help the government draft open government plans by sharing your thoughts on how each agency can be more open and transparent.
"The Defense Department must take decisive remedial steps to achieve positive controls over all social computing transactions originating from the toxic Internet. The risks are too great to accept insufficient safeguards."--Paul A. Strassman, distinguished professor of information science at George Mason University and former director of defense information for the Office of the Secretary of Defense
"Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" is a weekly podcast from the U.S. Defense Department that highlights the importance of science and technology to modern military operations and the DOD. Interviews with scientists, administrators and operators are conducted to inform listeners about the cutting-edge research and development happening within the defense community.