January 15, 2012
The government will decide in about two months whether to expand a Pentagon pilot program that uses classified National Security Agency data to protect the computer networks of 17 defense contractors, the Pentagon’s chief cyber official said.
The pilot program has largely been successful since its start about a year ago, although it has faced some legal, technical and policy challenges, said Eric Rosenbach, a former Army intelligence officer who was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy in September.
The Obama administration has stepped up its efforts to better protect government and industry computer networks over the past year given increasingly numerous and sophisticated attacks from a growing number of nation-states.
“Bolstering the strategic defense of the country and critical sectors is a very important priority for the Department of Defense,” Rosenbach told Reuters, noting cybersecurity activities would likely see steady or increased investment in coming years, even as overall defense spending declined.
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