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Pentagon Creating Cyber Warfare Command

The Defense Department will unify information security for all the military branches under a command focused on waging cyberwarfare.

Though a new cybercommand might break down silos inside the Defense Department that may hinder a cogent sense of direction on cybersecurity, it would still be but one of several national security authorities on the issue.

The Department of Homeland Security has much of the authority over cybersecurity, but it's also broken down among the National Security Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the Pentagon itself. It's unclear what role the Defense Department's cybersecurity command would play, but The Wall Street Journal said it would support the Department of Homeland Security.

It's also unclear how the Pentagon's cybersecurity efforts would relate to and interact with normal computer network operations and maintenance at the Defense Department.

"The intelligence culture is different than the security culture, which is different than a network operations culture," cautioned Rod Beckstrom, former director of the National Cyber Security Center at the Department of Homeland Security. Beckstrom himself resigned last month in the midst of a cybersecurity turf war with the NSA.

However, even simply unifying cybersecurity efforts in the military would be a start. "DOD has a lot of rice bowls in cybersecurity that can confound unity of purpose," Greg Garcia, who served as assistant secretary of cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, said in an e-mail.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on government IT priorities. Download the report here (registration required).

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