US Defense Department is building new automated system to secure military networks

Over in the States, the Defense Department has decided to build an automated electronic "scorecard" system to help ensure that military networks and computer systems stay safe from hackers.

The news comes from Reuters, who spoke to Air Force Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin. He noted that the basic framework of the system should be agreed in a timeframe of months, with the scorecard system being implemented in the "coming years".

The initiative comes on the heels of a damning report from the Pentagon concerning potential cyber-threats, and the fact that almost every major US weapons system was vulnerable in some way.

The project is being led by the CIO at the Pentagon, and aims to provide an overview of vulnerabilities, helping security staff to prioritise which ones to fix first. The system will be fully automated eventually, although that won't be the case to begin with, as the initial data entry will be done manually.

All this comes in the face of increased probing and attacks from nations such as China and Russia. As we heard back in June, China was allegedly behind a massive cyber-attack against the Office of Personnel Management in the US, although the country denied any involvement.

As ViaSat UK CEO Chris McIntosh commented at the time: “Rather than guerrilla raids or sabotage, the greatest threat to governments and other organisations comes increasingly not from the physical world, but from the virtual.”

A report from Akamai earlier this year indicated that China is the top source of online attacks in the world, being responsible for some 41 per cent of them, compared to the US in second place on 13 per cent.

Whoever the intruder is, though, it’s clear that America intends to tighten up security of its military networks considerably.