November 19, 2013 By Carlo Muñoz - http://thehill.com
The Defense Department is ramping up its efforts to protect sensitive and classified details of its next-generation weapons systems, amid the growing threat of cyber espionage.
For the first time, the Pentagon will now require all defense contracting firms doing business with the department to install "established information security standards" on classified and unclassified computer networks.
Weapons makers with Pentagon contracts will now also be required to report security breaches of their networks "that result in the loss of unclassified controlled technical information from these networks," according to the Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.
"Defense contractors throughout the department's supply chain have been targeted by cyber criminals attempting to steal unclassified technical data," Kendall said Monday.
The cybersecurity initiative for the defense industry is a "high priority for the department" and is vital to ensuring sensitive details involving the U.S. arsenal are not compromised, he said in a statement issued by the Pentagon on Tuesday.