The military geniuses from the US Department of Defence have come to the conclusion that the best way to defeat hackers is to put all of your data in one place.
The cunning plan is to consolidate its 15,000 networks into a single “joint information environment” which would be protected by JIE, a new set of security protocols. The Pentagon calls this a “single security architecture” while most hackers would call it a “target”.
According to the Pentagon bigwigs, the protocols will make it easier to detect intrusions and identify unauthorised “insiders” who might be accessing a network.
National Defence Magazine says this brilliant idea comes from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs Army General Martin Dempsey.
The system will potentially save billions of dollars by eliminating redundant, overlapping systems, it is claimed.
Some are unhappy with the move. There is what planners call a “bureaucratic” reluctance to change the situation in the Pentagon, although we can't say we are surprised.
The head of DISA, Air Force Lieutenant General Ronnie Hawkins, warned that JIE is pushing the Department into unchartered territory. He characterised the venture as the digital equivalent of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the western United States.
JIE will be financed under the Pentagon’s $23 billion cybersecurity budget.
There is also the technology consideration as to whether 15,000 networks can coalesce into a common environment.
It will not be a single architecture but more of a “standard security architecture”. To stop insider leaks, the JIE will track network activity using “identity access management” technology.
Supervisors will look for warning signs of a potential insider threat, such as whether people are authorised to be where they're at, and whether they have the administrative privileges they are supposed to have.
Snowden might have still slipped through the net, and with a consolidated network, he would have had access to even more data.