Speeding Up Cyber Accreditation

The Air Force is about to get faster in developing cyber defense capabilities, top generals in the Office of Information Dominance said Thursday. The key challenge in cyber warfare is “the new pace of change” at which adversaries develop cyber capabilities, Brig. Gen. Kevin Kennedy, director of cyberspace operations and warfighting integration, told the audience at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) event in Arlington, Va. The Pentagon acquisitions bureaucracy—and especially the information assurance accreditation process—dramatically slows down Defense Department efforts to quickly develop and deploy responses in the cyber domain. That process today can take from “18 months to two years,” said Lt. Gen. William Bender, the Air Force’s chief information officer. The Air Force is currently reaching the end of a “collaborative effort” to “streamline that process” by pushing decision-making authority “back into the program offices,” Bender said. “I believe that initiative is going to reap great rewards and we’re ready to get the approval to go to a new system, really within the next number of weeks.”