26 Sep 2011

Pentagon looks to help cyber networks of defense contractors

In an effort to help defend U.S defense contractors, The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon is extending a pilot program to help protect the country's prime suppliers' internet security. The AP said the report could eventually serve as a model for other government agencies.

The cyber protection program is currently being evaluated by the Department of Homeland Security as apart of an effort to possibly extend the effort to power plants, electric grids and other infrastructure that is considered to be critical by the country, according to the news source. Increased efforts come as the Pentagon has started to investigate a growing number of cases involving the mishandling or removal of classified data from military and corporate systems.

"The results this far are very promising," said William Lynn, the deputy secretary of defense who launched the program in May and recently left the office. So far, the trial involves 20 defense companies and will run through mid-November. Lynn said the government should work as quickly as possible to move this program to vital sectors.

Cyber security expert James Lewis told the AP that if the U.S. moves smartly, the program for internet security could be expanded and running well within two years. He said Homeland Security needs more authorities to oversee the process and have to work through privacy issues, among other things.