Task force says DOD must spend $3 billion on InfoSec

The government needs to pump $3 billion into the Defense Department budget to fortify
the nation's information infrastructure against hackers, terrorists and other information
warfare threats, a DOD task force has recommended.


In the report issued this month, a Defense Science Board task force said these funds
would cover the establishment of a central information warfare operations center, the
creation of a joint office for system, network and infrastructure design, and other costs
to carry out the board's recommendations.


Although the report includes 50 steps that the board says DOD should take to thwart
attacks on Defense and other systems that support the country, it identifies 13 as
critical [see box].


The report is the latest in a series of studies on threats to the systems and networks
that support the country's transportation, energy, telecommunications, banking and public
safety infrastructures.


President Clinton has already formed the Commission on Critical Infrastructure
Protection to identify cyber threats to the nation's critical resources and systems (see
story, Page 52
). Plus, in the past year, DOD officials have spent numerous hours
detailing the potential threats to lawmakers at congressional hearings.


Unlike the work being done by the presidential panel, the Defense Science Board focused
on building a stronger information warfare defense and plugging gaps in DOD's information
security operations. The report comes on the heels of recent moves by the Defense
Information Systems Agency to bolster and reorganize its Information Security, or InfoSec,
operations.


The board, a team of 20 representatives from academia and industry along with former
DOD officials, submitted the report to the office of the DOD undersecretary for
acquisition and technology.


"We have observed an increasing dependency on the Defense information
infrastructure and increasing doctrinal assumptions regarding the continued availability
of that infrastructure," said Duane P. Andrews, task force chairman and a former DOD
IT chief. "This dependency and these assumptions are ingredients in a recipe for a
national security disaster."


DOD spokeswoman Susan Hansen said the Pentagon would use the report during its budget
reviews. But the board has no authority to enforce its recommendations.


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