The Defense Department is drafting a plan it will soon present to Congress to more effectively acquire cyber defense capabilities, according to Frank Kendall, acting under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.
“What we’re going to try to put in place is a way to respect the fact that cyber has to move at a much faster pace than anything else we do,” said Kendall Feb. 6, 2012, during a Center for Strategic and International Studies event in Washington, D.C.
“We have to react instantaneously to many of the threats, we can’t sit around and wait for a [Defense Acquisition Board] or a [Joint Requirements Oversight Council] for these things,” he added. “We have to take it outside the conventional system for the major, long term weapons systems.”
By “cyber,” Kendall said he means information technology used specifically for defending the networks, some IT used for intelligence gathering and “the things that we might buy to attack other people.”
In crafting an acquisition strategy that deviates from traditional DoD procurement, it’s important that cyber programs are still reviewed within the bigger picture, he said. Cyber programs would typically not be so expensive that they reach same level of review as a major defense acquisition program, said Kendall, “but they’re terribly important.”
These smaller, but critical cyber programs should be reviewed thoroughly, just as long-term, large-scale defense expenses would be, he said. The department is well aware of the threats and while much is being done to address cyber on a granular level, Kendall said the department level needs “to get a better handle on exactly what we’re getting for our money and exactly what our posture is.”
“We really want to understand where we are,” said Kendall. “We want to know what our defense levels are, what our abilities are to attack,…what kind of gaps we have…and what our investments are giving us.”
— by Molly Bernhart Walker, Fierce Government, Feb. 8, 2012 at http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/kendall-cyber-acquisition-unique/2012-02-08?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal