Pentagon to fight cyber threats with cyber ‘scorecard’

Ambitious project to automate prioritization of biggest threats to US security

The Pentagon

The US Department of Defence is constructing a huge system that will help officials prioritise how to remedy cyber-vulnerabilities, threats to computer networks, weapons systems and installations, reports Reuters.

There has been increased concern around US security with a critical report released in January from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester that warned that most major weapons systems were susceptible to cyber-attacks and another report in February from the National Intelligence director that declared cyber-attacks a major threat.

Officials should reach agreement on a framework within months, said Air Force Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin. Cyber Command have already set up about half of the 133 planned cyber response teams before the annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit and, by the end of 2016, they will reportedly reach initial operational ability with 6,200 personnel.

Although initial data entry would be done by hand, the objective is to transform the system into an automated scorecard' over time with the greatest threats as its focus. Weapons systems created before the threat of cyber-attacks were fully understood and newer systems that needed additional security topped the list.

With China and Russia intensifying their cyber-attacks, the long term goal of the system is the immediate detection of and response to hackers by defence officials.

McLaughlin was aware of the magnitude and cost of the project, which would also account for interagency data movement. "The question is what's most important, where should we put our resources as we eat the elephant one bite at a time," he said.

Other cybersecurity efforts, including increased communication and collaboration, were laid out by US Army, Navy, and Air Force officials at the conference. McLaughlin noted that U.S. military commanders were increasingly familiar with cyber threats than in the past. 

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