Digital Battlespace

LandWarNet 2011: DoD COI warns of cyber threat progression

24th August 2011 - 18:49 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A 'growing cyber threat, exploding technologies and shrinking budgets' comprise the challenges ahead for the US Department of Defense (DoD), according to its chief ,information officer (COI). Teri Takai.

Speaking at the LandWarNet conference in Tampa on 27 August, Takai described a growing trend of commercial technology for smartphones as well as the progression of cyber warfare towards a 'destruction' phase.

'The warfighter expects and needs access to information from any device, anywhere, anytime. Everyone knows the importance of the information but the challenge is how to get [it] out there in a secure fashion, and in a way that is usable quickly for the mission, 'she said. 'We are no longer going to be able to do that from devices that we traditionally use so we are moving to commercial devices.'

Referring to the DoD's information technology budget of some $38 million for FY2012, Takai also highlighted the growing cyber threat. 'Our concerns are, what we've seen right now is the exploitation of the networks- theft of e-mail addresses for example. Clearly, the next stage will be disruption.

'Challenges include moving away from purely the need to protect the perimeter and watching potential for this leading to [a] 'destruction' [phase]. We are looking at resiliency as well as defensive protection. This is a public and private requirement and something we have to have with our industry partners,' she continued.

Referring to calls for a 'single database and server in the sky' or 'cloud', Takai proclaimed: 'It's kind of difficult to do this with over 772 data centres, 10,000 operational systems and 15,000 networks.'

However, she said data centre and server consolidation was one of the DoD's requirements alongside network standardisation; identity and access management services; enterprise e-mail, messaging and collaboration services; software, hardware and service purchasing consolidation; and shrinking budgets to enterprise strategy.

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