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Upcoming study outlines broad strategy for securing future DoD computer networks

28/08/2015 by


As the Defense Department contends with greater and more sophisticated cyber attacks, it needs to enhance security from "chip to the cloud" and boost the speed and performance of system defenses, while remaining cost-effective, according to a recent Lexington Institute blog post.

The post, written by Daniel Gouré, who is the think tank's vice president, provided a broad six-step strategy that DoD should follow to secure networks in this emerging environment. He added the strategy is part of a forthcoming study from the institute.

Gouré wrote that the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is the Pentagon's information technology arm, developed the "first coordinated, department-wide security system," with the Host-Based Security System, or HBSS, at its core.

"HBSS is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) based application that has undergone rigorous security, functionality and compatibility testing that proved its effectiveness on more than 7 million endpoints," he wrote. "When properly managed, with trained operators, kept up to date and fully implemented, HBSS is reported to be extremely effective against today's spectrum of threat."

Still, Gouré, who has held senior positions in the federal government, added the six-step strategy can further enhance security. It includes:

  • Building on DISA's investments and experience with HBSS rather than starting from scratch. DoD's current capabilities are still relevant and, if maintained, can allow new investments to focus on more challenging matters such as dealing with advanced persistent threats.
  • Creating one security architecture that eliminates stovepipes, shrinks the attack surface, consolidates network administration, and provides end-to-end situational awareness, among other advantages. "In particular, looking ahead, the single manager would support the efficient allocation of resources while avoiding redundancies."
  • Establishing an overall system manager who can maintain configuration control and increase overall enterprise effectiveness and efficiency in provisioning services

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