Cybersecurity plagues Fort Hood

LAS VEGAS — The Army's biggest base has a cybersecurity problem to match its size.

Fort Hood, Texas, the largest Army base in the world and home of the 4th Infantry Division — the service's first digitized force — has a huge information security problem, said Maj. Gen. Dennis Moran, the Army's director of architecture, operations, networks & space in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. He spoke June 8 at the Army Information Technology Conference sponsored by the Army Small Computer Program.

Some Army IT leaders think the best way to solve the information security problem at Fort Hood is to operate IT as an enterprise. For example, the base has 96 domains on the military’s unclassified network. Consolidating e-mail, servers and storage systems would improve network management, operations and security, Moran said.

But Fort Hood technology workers resisted the consolidation idea. The Army's IT leaders must resolve the tension between the Army’s need to operate IT as an enterprise and IT workers’ unique requirements at bases, Moran said.

Fort Hood technology officials have attempted to improve information security by implementing products from Intrusion, for example, to strengthen network and spyware defenses.

Fort Hood is the not the only major Army base with computer security problems. Fort Campbell, Ky., home of the 101st Airborne Division — the service’s air assault helicopter force — was hacked in 2003, and the Army spent millions of dollars to rebuild the fort’s systems.

A top Army warfighting IT official echoed Moran’s information assurance concerns servicewide. “Security is a major problem," said Chuck Pizzutelli, deputy program executive officer in the Army’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications Tactical, which is part of the service’s new Communications-Electronics Lifecycle Management Command. "Half of the IT architecture is a security overlay."

Pizzutelli also spoke at the conference.

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