Wells describes DoD's security needs

Companies that want to help the Defense Department improve its security should bring solutions that expand its bandwidth, assure that its software is secure and have built-in redundancies.

That was the message delivered by Linton Wells, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence at the Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference earlier this week in Hershey, Pa.

Wells said that, aside from trusted components and products, the Defense Department is looking for these particulars:

*Software assurance, meaning vendors must be able to certify that code developed overseas by foreigners is as trustworthy as code developed in the United States.

*Solutions that extend the Defense Department's limited network bandwidth.

*Redundancy and self-healing properties that result in what Wells called "organically assured systems."

*Intrusion warnings and assessments. "We need real-time awareness of what's going on with out networks," Wells said.

Wells also said that agencies often spend too little on security when compared to the overall cost of building a network.

"Every vertebra uses as many cells protecting its central nervous system as it does building the nervous system," he said.

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