The announcement reflects growing emphases of the Obama administration’s revamping and centralization of cyber security. The creation of the White House cyber coordinator and the centralization of military cyber security by the Pentagon shows the Obama’s administrations placement of cyber as a major national security interest. The new cyber command center will most likely be stationed in Fort Meade, Md, Cybercom will begin this October and be fully functioning by October 2010.
The Pentagon emphasized the new command center will only monitor Department of Defense
networks, no other government networks and definitely not private networks. Gates has recommended the Director of National Security Agency Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander head the new cyber command initiative. Offensive and defensive cyber-warfare capabilities are expected to be used to address growing foreign and domestic threats.
The centralization of cybersecurity at the Pentagon will likely cause thousands of Department of Defense cyber warriors to relocate to the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade. The 2010 defense budget proposal has already asked to triple the amount of trained cybersecurity experts from 80 to 250.
The new cyber command center will at first stem from the current U.S. Strategic Command, a nuclear and computer warfare operations center located in Nebraska. The announcement of a new cyber command center is not surprising considering the obscene volume of cyber hacks to government property daily.
Explained by Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman:
“Our defense networks are constantly probed. There are millions of scans every day. The power to disrupt and destroy, once the sole province of nations, now also rests with small groups and individuals, from terrorist groups to organized crime to industrial spies to hacker activists, to teenage hackers.”
Whitman added, “We also know that foreign governments are trying to develop offensive cyber capabilities.”