Defense Department Pretty Much Incompetent In Dealing With Online Threats

from the but-of-course dept

Last year, we noted that there was something of an internal executive branch fight over who had the mandate to deal with so-called "cybersecurity" threats: the Defense Department (mainly the NSA) or Homeland Security. Neither group is ideal, obviously, but the Defense Department's claims were definitely much more ridiculous, in that it seemed like the entire point of asking for control over online security was to grant the NSA more spying powers. In fact, we found it somewhat hilarious that the DoD seemed to think that one of its best qualifications for managing digital security issues was its own incompetence in dealing with massive security breaches. Yes, the logic was basically "we had crappy security, so we know that online threats are real." Yeah.

Now, as a bunch of folks have been pointing out, the GAO has put out a brutal report, explaining just how incredibly incompetent the Pentagon has been in both understanding and dealing with any kind of online threats. The full report (pdf) is pretty direct in suggestion that the DoD has known about problems for ages, but has only just started addressing the problems -- and the report says it's too early to tell if they've had any real impact at all.

While we've long said that the risk of "cyberwar" is blown way out of proportion, that doesn't mean that there aren't many attempts to breach government digital security. Tragically, this report suggests that the DoD is woefully unprepared to deal with the issues, and is only just now trying to catch up (potentially from a position well behind any adversaries.).
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: cybersecurity, defense department, nsa

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Scott Templeman, 1 Aug 2011 @ 4:53am

    Can't throw $ at problems

    Budget does not equal competence. Otherwise, every Government service would be unparalleled, and we'd all be driving a GM, that is, when not enjoying our incredible public transportation services.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.