'Turf war' between DOD and DHS delays US cyber guidelines

The urgent need for an updated United States cyber engagement policy is taking a backseat to the battle between the Homeland Security and Defense departments and their roles to defend U.S. cyberspace, reports DefenseNews.com.

The policy, which will replace the existing cyber guidelines issued in 2005, is being stalled because of a heated Congressional debate over where the U.S. military’s responsibility to defend against cyberattacks ends and where DHS’ begin.

“This is a turf war,” James Cartwright, the retired U.S. Marine Corps general who stepped down as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in August, said in the article.

The new policy – if approved as it stands – restricts DOD’s ability to protect nonmilitary and nongovernment infrastructure because of legal limitations. However, the Pentagon is seeking more autonomy in the rules of engagement, which it believes would allow it to better guard the U.S. against cyberattacks on a whole.

Whatever the outcome, the U.S. needs to step up its overall cybersecurity, Cartwright noted.

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