Pentagon Bolsters Protection of Unclassified Technical Data

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed his deputies for acquisition, intelligence, and policy to work with the Pentagon’s chief information officer to bolster the protection of unclassified data from cyber intrusion. Hagel told them to modify policy, guidance, and rulemaking, as needed, to improve how the Defense Department guards unclassified controlled technical information that resides on or passes through defense contractor systems or networks, according to the Pentagon’s Oct. 24 release. “Protection of this data is a high priority for the department and is critical to preserving the intellectual property and competitive capabilities of our national industrial base and the technological superiority of our fielded military systems,” wrote Hagel in his early October memo on these changes. Pentagon officials are also considering whether to amend acquisition and contracting regulations so that contractors would have to incorporate security standards in their networks and report any cyber intrusions, states the release. The Pentagon also plans to stand up a “joint analysis cell”—led by DOD’s acquisition executive—that is responsible for assessing the consequences of any loss of this type of data.