Inside DOD

By Amber Corrin

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DOD rolling out cyber defense, albeit slowly

The Jan. 29 launch of the Navy's Fleet Cyber Command marks the third of the four military services to establish a command for cyberspace. The Air Force unveiled its cyber organization, the 24th Air Force, in October; Navy officials have said that the Marine Corps recently introduced its own cyber office, although that appears to have been done quietly.

The Army is working on getting its cyber command off the drawing board, but it is taking longer, likely because it will have more moving parts and be bigger than its contemporaries. The Army is mulling how the command will be organized, but officials are eyeing an October 2010 starting date – the same time frame the Defense Department is considering.

DOD’s foray into cyberspace has been a long time coming; hackers and other Internet-borne threats are nothing new, and those in the defense contracting industry complain that they and the general public have been left to defend themselves against cyber attacks. But like anything else in the federal government, it’s taking some time to clear the bureaucratic hurdles.

But it's been busy of late on Capitol Hill -- so busy, in fact, that the proposed commander for the U.S. Cyber Command, Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander (who was nominated back in October) is still waiting in the wings, forcing the federal cyber agency into a holding pattern until he's confirmed.

Still, even with the top echelon of the DOD cyber domain on hold, the services are abuzz with cyber activity. Although some may say it’s about time, it does signal the prioritizing of cyber defense at the federal level.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 04, 2010 at 12:14 PM


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