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Defense Secretary moves to plug cyber security holes

United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has approved a plan that will set in motion the first steps towards standardizing cyber operations for the military. The organizational framework approved by Panetta outlines a new command structure placing the authority for offensive and defensive operations under geographic combatant commanders.
 
The framework also outlines the creation of a new Joint Cyber Centers known as JCC to serve as a link between U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) Combat Support Elements and combatant commanders within the military. The JCC will provide combatant commanders with intelligence information and operational know-how for various needs.
 
Panetta authorized commanders to implement a transitional plan called Joint Staff Transitional Cyberspace Operations Command and Control Concept of Operations. Panetta also told all involved commanders and organizations to make preparations with haste.
 
Panetta stated, "It is imperative that we move quickly and put the transitional framework in place as soon as possible." 
 
Part of the duties for each JCC will be to organize offensive operations and protect networks employed by each combatant command. These responsibilities are previously operated separately and not concentrated locally.
 
Not all experts believe the plan will work citing staffing and budget issues among other things. One former intelligence officer said, "A bunch of Intel dorks wrote this not understanding how people interact or how things work."
 
Several experts agree that finding personnel capable of operating the new JCC's might be a challenge. Expanded need for personnel also doesn't come without funding. Most of the qualified personnel to operate JCCs are located at Fort Meade CYBERCOM.
 
Panetta acknowledged concerns with staffing and budgets, and still called for commanders to react quickly. “Although I expect you may find that you need additional resources to implement a complete and enduring C2 (command and control) framework within your commands, speed is important,” Panetta added.

The New York Times reported last week that President Obama gave the go-ahead to perform a cyber-attack on Iran using the Stuxnet virus to destroy nuclear centrifuges.
 

Source: Defense News





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