Splunk’s Bill Wright: DoD Needs New Approach to Handle Data, Secure Defense Systems

Bill Wright, director of federal government affairs at Splunk, has said the Pentagon is facing challenges in managing the vast amount of data it collects from the battlefield due to the rapidly changing and growing technologies used by the military.

He wrote in an opinion piece published Saturday on Fifth Domain that both weapons and financial systems used by the military now rely heavily on synchronized information sharing between multiple networks and technology nodes.

However, a Government Accountability Office report in October shows that the systems’ computerized and networked nature, as well as dependence on software and information technology, exposed the Department of Defense to more cyber threats.

“Sadly, data is messy,” Wright said. “It often presents itself in unstructured and disparate streams. This makes it hard to understand and spot important information without the right tools."

GAO also found that DoD has been facing challenges in addressing the gaps in the agency’s cyber visibility and threat detection capabilities.

The Pentagon lacks the right tools to monitor its data log files to detect suspicious activities, Wright said.

He added defense systems operators also tend to ignore warning systems intentionally due to alert fatigue because warning statuses were “always red.”

Wright suggested that the DoD review available security information and event management tools and use the most advanced technologies to automate incident responses.

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