Cyber Defense

Army CIO touts network security

Army network modernization efforts have primarily focused on extending the capabilities of its central LandWarNet to include expanded bandwidth, data processing and transmission capabilities. Now, however, the effort is zeroing in on network security.

Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, the Army’s chief information officer, told the Association of the U.S. Army in a June 28 speech that network security has emerged as a service priority. Security efforts will initially focus on streamlining LandWarNet by consolidating multiple networks. Lawrence said the Army expects to reduce the number of network access points from 400 to 12 this year.

The consolidation effort will allow the service to more easily detect unauthorized probes along with malware and virus attacks that could compromise LandWarNet.

Ultimately, Lawrence said, the network security effort is designed to promote trust among Army decision-makers that data moving over the network is accurate and hasn’t been compromised.

The modernization effort is being driven by both security and budget concerns as the Army faces budget cuts and force draw downs. One way to gain efficiencies is to consolidate various systems within the decade-old LandWarNet into a single enterprise. Common hardware, software and other systems will also be targeted in any future Army acquisitions to reduce cost, program managers have said.

Lawrence also said her office, G-6, is working to develop enterprise services like data storage and retrieval along with voice and video services. Eventually, she added, all service data will end up in the cloud. The goal, she said, is “to make sure the soldier can be connected at all times.

About the Author

George Leopold is a contributing editor for Defense Systems and author of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom."Connect with him on Twitter at @gleopold1.

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