Risk
1/4/2013
03:44 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Defense Budget Aims To Improve Cybersecurity

$633 billion package requires the Department of Defense to adopt next-generation cyber defenses and take new steps in secure software development.

Military Drones Present And Future: Visual Tour
Military Drones Present And Future: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Cybersecurity and other information technologies play strong roles in the newly signed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2013, emphasizing the military's increasing reliance on IT.

The $633 billion package requires the Department of Defense to adopt next-generation cyber defenses and regularly report to Congress about its cyber efforts; includes guidelines on reporting cyber intrusions; and outlines steps that the military must take in software development and software licensing.

The NDAA does not take into account pending possible across-the-board cuts of DOD funds that will begin March 27 and reduce defense spending by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 years if Congress fails to act by March 1.

[ To learn more about the government's cybersecurity efforts, read Congress Kills Cybersecurity Bill, White House Action Expected. ]

Key among the NDAA's tech guidelines are provisions dealing with cybersecurity and cyberwar. For example, the law instructs the DOD to "develop a strategy to acquire next-generation host-based cyber-security tools and capabilities" that go beyond current anti-malware and signature-based threat detection and instead can address "new or rapidly morphing threats."

These new technologies, the law says, must be installed in an open architecture that allows for multiple cybersecurity tools -- such as insider threat detection and continuous monitoring and configuration management -- to be added and integrated.

Other cyber provisions overhaul the software development process within the DOD, requiring the military to develop secure software development policy that does three things: Requires the use of static code analysis such as that performed by Veracode or a number of other code checking tools; prioritizes vulnerabilities based on risk; and ensures that secure software development is dealt with during the contracting phase of software development projects.

The DOD also must report to Congress quarterly on all the offensive and "significant" defensive military operations it carried out in cyberspace in the previous quarter. The NDAA notes that Congress expects to be briefed more widely on the activities of Cyber Command. Finally, under the law, contractors will be required to report successful penetrations to DOD.

Other broad IT requirements include DOD-wide IT initiatives. One such requirement could have a significant impact on how the DOD spends money on software by requiring an inventory of DOD software licenses and the development of a plan to assess how the military can "achieve the greatest possible economies of scale and cost savings in the procurement, use, and optimization of" those licenses.

The law requires the DOD to develop and submit to Congress a plan for a more consolidated IT infrastructure within the DOD known as the Joint Information Environment that will include milestones and metrics. It also requires the DOD CIO to study big data tools and submit a report on such tools to Congress.

The NDAA includes tech requirements for individual military services as well. For example, it requires the Army to review the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) -- a key operational IT system that deals largely with tactical and intelligence information -- and to issue plans for the system.

As for other services, the law will allow more open bidding on the Air Force's Network-Centric Solutions 2 (NETCENTS-2) acquisition vehicle. NETCENTS-2 was supposed to simplify big Air Force IT buys, but has been held up by vendor protests of contract awards.

Federal agencies must increase server utilization and energy efficiency as they squeeze more computer processing into fewer data centers. The new Data Center Optimization issue of InformationWeek Government explores how the Army, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and others are doing that. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.