U.S. Cyber Command is building a massive, electronic system to provide an overview of the vulnerabilities of the military’s computer networks, weapons system and installations and help officials prioritise how to fix them, its deputy commander said on Thursday.
Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin told Reuters officials should reach agreement on the framework within months, turning the system into an automated “scorecard” in coming years.
McLaughlin said the effort grew out of a disturbing report released earlier this year by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, Michael Gilmore. The report warned that nearly every major U.S. weapons system was vulnerable to cyber attacks, and an escalating number of attacks on U.S. computer networks by Russia and China.
Cyber Command staff would do the initial data entry by hand, but the goal was to create a fully automated system that would help defence officials instantaneously detect and respond to any attacks, McLaughlin said after a speech at the annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit.
He said the initial focus would be on the greatest threats, including weapons systems fielded 30 years ago before the cyber threat was fully understand, as well as newer systems that were not secure enough.
“There’s probably not enough money in the world to fix all those things, but the question is what’s most important, where should we put our resources as we eat the elephant one bite at a time.”
McLaughlin said the scorecard was initially intended to look at weapons and networks, but Cyber Command was now looking at a broader and more sophisticated approach that also accounted for how data was moved among agencies within the military.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)
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