[ISN] Beefing up NIPRNET

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Sep 2 07:51:23 EDT 2004

Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>


By Frank Tiboni 
Sept. 1, 2004

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Defense Department information technology
officials recently installed new hardware to better protect military

But the new equipment cannot achieve its full capability unless DOD's
IT workers install products correctly and patches more quickly,
according to a Defense Information Systems Agency official.

DISA officials put in large routers from Juniper Networks Inc. at the
base borders of the Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol
Router Network (NIPRNET), said Joe Boyd, chief of DISA's Center for
Network Services, speaking here today at the Directorate of
Information Management/Army Knowledge Management conference sponsored
by AFCEA International.

The new hardware should increase NIPRNET's security, letting DOD
workers do their day-to-day activities, Boyd said. But he added that
improving information assurance departmentwide also requires IT
workers to work more diligently.

About 62 percent of military networks' intrusions result from poor
configuration practices, Boyd said. Another 24 percent comes from not
installing software fixes and updates in a timely fashion — a
negligence that DOD technology officials describe as unresponsiveness
to information assurance vulnerability alerts, said Boyd, who oversees
combat support of the Global Information Grid, the military's network
of voice, video and data systems.

Officials in the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, the
organization that oversees protection of military networks, report a
gradual increase in the number of attempted intrusions during the past
three years. They reported 40,076 in 2001, 43,086 in 2002, 54,488 in
2003 and 24,745 as of June, said Tim Madden, task force spokesman.

"Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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