GAO releases Report on Department of Defense Cyber Stategy issues

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Monday entitled “Defense Department Cyber Efforts: DOD Faces Challenges In Its Cyber Activities“. The report focuses on and highlights the hurdles and issues that US cyber security efforts are facing.

Some of the highlights from the report include:

DOD’s current cyber defense is decentralized, and covers a vast area.

  • DOD is taking proactive measures to better address cybersecurity threats, such as developing new organizational structures, led by the establishment of the U.S. Cyber Command, to facilitate the integration of cyberspace operations.

DoD currently has several joint publications concerning cyber-space topics

  • DOD recognizes the need to develop and update cyber-related joint doctrine and is currently debating the merits of developing a single cyberspace operations joint doctrine publication in addition to updating all existing doctrine.

Current Command & Control of Cyberspace is confusing and issues could affect multiple commands

  • Without complete and clearly articulated guidance on command and control responsibilities that is well communicated and practiced with key stakeholders, DOD will have difficulty in achieving command and control of its cyber forces globally and in building unity of effort for carrying out cyberspace operations.

DOD’s cyber workforce is undersized and unprepared

  • While the department’s review of some cyberspace capability gaps on cyberspace operations is a step in the right direction, it remains unclear whether these gaps will be addressed since DOD has not conducted a more comprehensive departmentwide assessment of cyber-related capability gaps or established an implementation plan or funding strategy to resolve any gaps that may be identified.

The GAO brings out some great points. The DoD is facing some pretty steep challenges. But I feel that the report and recommendations are a good idea and with proper leadership, staffing and funding will lead our cyber defense in the right direction.

The full highlights and the complete report can be found on the GAO’s website.


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