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7/25/2011
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DOD Website Sells Public On Cybersecurity Strategy

Department of Defense creates new site that rounds up content related to cybersecurity strategy launched less than two weeks ago.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
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Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
The Department of Defense (DOD) has launched a new website to accompany a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy launched less than two weeks ago to guide the department's efforts to fight cyber attacks going forward.

The Cyber Strategy website is aimed at helping the public understand the DOD's consolidated cybersecurity strategy and provide a central site for the department's accomplishments to date in how it is protecting the federal government and U.S. critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, it said.

The DOD launched the new cybersecurity strategy as a way to consolidate its various efforts for fighting cyber attacks so as to be better prepared for them. It also was aimed at underscoring how important cybersecurity is to the department while stressing the military has no plans to use its power to control cyberspace.

In fact, during his comments to launch the plan, William Lynn, deputy secretary of defense, acknowledged that the strategy was somewhat of a public relations exercise to dispel any myths the public has around the DOD's cybersecurity tactics.

The website, then, will act as a companion to the strategy as a public-facing resource for the DOD's execution of it. The site provides detailed content on the five pillars of the new cyberstrategy, which are: to treat cyberspace as an operational domain; to employ new defense operating concepts; to partner with the public and private sector; to build international partnerships; and to leverage talent and innovation.

The site also provides a news feed of relevant cybersecurity-related stories; links to government cybersecurity jobs; DOD press releases that pertain to cybersecurity news; transcripts to speeches and discussions about cybersecurity from key officials such as Lynn; and other relevant content related to its strategy.

The DOD is the department largely responsible for the federal government's cybersecurity efforts alongside the Department of Homeland Security. It's a task that lately has become a hot button issue as the federal government has been the target of a barrage of attacks from a number of hactivist groups like LulzSec, Anonymous and AntiSec.

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed before the DOD launched its new strategy and the website was critical of the DOD's decentralized approach to cybersecurity, but did note the department's efforts to align its mission to prevent and fight cyber attacks.

"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," the GAO said in a summary of the report. "However, it is too early to tell if these changes will help DOD better address cybersecurity threats."

What industry can teach government about IT innovation and efficiency. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: Federal agencies have to shift from annual IT security assessments to continuous monitoring of their risks. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

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