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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

DISA launches new cyber defense org

In a couple days, the Defense Information Systems Agency will set up its third cyber structure in the last four years.

That’s not a criticism, but rather it’s a strong indicator of how fluid the challenges facing cyber defenses are.

First there was the Joint Task Force, Global Network Operations, which was merged with the U.S. Cyber Command in 2010. Now DISA is creating the Joint Task Force-DOD Information Networks. It launches this week and goes by the god-awful acronym of JTF-DODIN.

It’ll disentangle the cyber operations responsibilities from the U.S. Cyber Command, allowing the command to focus more on strategy.

FCW.com reported that the joint task force will be a conduit for DISA to tell the military services what cyber capabilities they need to prioritize. The services will be the ones to actually implement the capabilities.

“We’re going to be taking tasks off of Cyber Command’s plate that they’ve been having to do because there’s a vacuum in this operational level command and control,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Skinner, DISA’s chief of staff. He was speaking to reporters at an AFCEA D.C. event on Monday.

It is no secret that Defense Department networks are under constant attack, so it is easy to imagine that you need a focus on the tactical day to day response as well as a strategic view.

For contractors, the new structure means that there is another set of potential customers to sell and market to.

With this being the third structure in four years, it also tells me that it won’t be the last change. The cyber threat constantly changes and evolves. Today, the focus is networks and systems, but with the Internet of Things set to take over, there are threats and vulnerabilities yet to be discovered.

As the threat evolves, so does the response.

I wasn’t able to attend the AFCEA lunch, but here is a short reading list of coverage:

DISA’s new unit aims to take pressure off Cyber Command – FCW

A new era in DOD cyber defense begins – FederalNewsRadio

DISA’s reorg builds on cyber, collaboration and cloud – C4ISR&Networks

DISA, CYBERCOM stand up new cyber HQ – Breaking Defense

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 13, 2015 at 9:34 AM

Reader Comments

Tue, Jan 13, 2015 David Mischbuccha

I just read the Fed News Radio piece. It was so confusing--both for its organization and lack of analysis, that it results in a scrambling of any understanding one might glean from the long, largely confusing quotes from various principals. Result: no insight of understanding. There is a yawning oppty for someone--Wash Tech or some other media org--to explain this. The government, sadly, is unable to explain the organizational change, and the media just seems to amplify the confusion. Help!!!! Someone needs to diagram this. Not likely that anyone in the WH, NSC or OSD can explain it either.

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