Cyber Command Wrestling With Unresolved Technology and Policy Issues

March 3, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via National Defense Magazine

The Pentagon’s Cyber Command, inaugurated less than six months ago, already has hired nearly a thousand people, and continues to expand its work force and its facilities at Fort Meade, Md.

Despite its fast-and-furious growth, Cybercom’s responsibilities as the protector of U.S. military information networks are still vaguely defined. Command officials are not yet clear on how they would respond to a cyber attack that, most likely, would not just affect military networks but also civilian systems. They also are wrestling with larger philosophical questions about how cyberspace fits into military strategy. Unfamiliarity with the scope of the threat also is making it difficult for Cybercom to determine how best to defend networks and what investments it must make for the future.

“There is a real dearth of doctrine and policy in the world of cyberspace,” said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr., deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command. One of the organization’s biggest challenges, he said, is to figure out how to “operationalize” cyberspace, or as he put it, find the “nexus between the technological and the conceptual.”

Story here.