DOD policy targets weak link in information security

New rules would protect supply chain data on unclassified networks

The Defense Department has issued a new policy to protect military information that travels between unclassified networks administered by contractors and the government, reports Jason Miller at Federal News Radio.

The new directive contains several major policy initiatives and sets forth new operating guidance to coordinate and manage an information sharing partnership with the private sector. The directive concerns information sharing outside the core DOD information networks, sources said.


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The directive was signed by Cheryl Roby, who is acting DOD chief information officer and principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Networks and Information. Its purpose is to plug a long-standing security gap involving the DOD supply chain.

The memo requires DOD and the Defense Industrial Base to:

  • Create an information-sharing environment for threat information.
  • Develop best practices.
  • Establish a standard for reporting and responding to cyber attacks or threats.
  • Develop an approach for vendors to perform self-assessments of the security of their networks.

The memo also tasks various DOD components with initiatives to improve or maintain Defense Industrial Base information security. As part of the effort, the Defense Security Service will ensure contractors receiving classified information have programs that meet the military’s cybersecurity requirements, the National Security Agency will offer support as needed to analyze cyber intrusion damage, and the Defense Cyber Crime Center will serve as the focal point for threat sharing and policy and standards implementation.

Furthermore, the DOD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics will update its acquisition regulations to address the protection of unclassified information on contractor networks and also develop a policy to assess cyber intrusion damage for Defense Industrial Base systems.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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