As sequestration and the ongoing continuing resolution hamper the ability of agencies to execute against existing priorities defined by the 2012 Defense Guidance, the rapidly evolving nature of cyber threats requires the shoring up of current weaknesses while investing resources in new approaches to protecting critical U.S. assets.
Increasingly, the defense, intelligence and congressional circles are considering offensive cyber capabilities as a route to address both strategic goals.
Most recently on March 5, the Defense Science Board released a report that concluded that the nation“™s military is unprepared for a full-scale cyber-conflict and must ramp up its offensive prowess.
“By securing and protecting information, systems and networks, agencies improve their defense posture while gaining new intelligence about existing threats,“ Kenneth Asbury, CACI International president and CEO, told ExecutiveBiz on the subject.
“This improved data performance makes intelligence more valuable, impactful and secure ““ which improves both defense and offensive capabilities.“
But, while important players and institutions focus on improving both sides of the cybersecurity posture, the current budget environment calls into question the ability of agencies and Congress to prioritize and appropriate the funds necessary to own a shifting and escalating cyber frontier.
“Information solutions are at the core of maintaining our asymmetric edge and countering these threats,“ Asbury added.
On its end, the legislature has moved to guide, direct and fund stronger defensive and offensive cyber postures, while President Obama issued an executive order on the issue.
Cyber command is in the process of expanding personnel, many of whom will be focused on offensive capabilities, and the Defense Industrial Base cybersecurity pilot has been expanded to include more private sector companies.
In that pilot, the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and private sector are working together to identify and respond to threats. With 75 percent of the “spend“ coming from the private sector, the effort is well-positioned to continue.
Information and idea sharing between public and private sector experts is also a key focus of the “The Asymmetric Symposium“ series sponsored by CACI, U.S. Naval Institute and the Center for Security Policy, where leaders collaborate on how to build the regulations, authorization and information solutions that enable critical capabilities.
Senior military and defense leaders will be gathering at the Reagan Trade Center on April 2 for the seventh of the series entitled “Combating Asymmetric Threats: The Interplay of Offense and Defense“ Symposium to participate in panel discussions and other collaborative efforts.