JIE ‘Cornerstone’ to Begin
Deploying in January, CIO Says
By Claudette Roulo, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – December 5, 2014 – The Defense Department’s acting chief information
officer said today that the foundational element of the Joint Information
Environment concept is on pace to begin deploying shortly after the New Year.
In a conference call with reporters, Terry Halvorsen said
that trial joint regional security stack configurations in Europe and at Joint
Base San Antonio, Texas, are proving successful in testing.
Regional security stacks are collections of servers and
network switches that streamline network traffic and limit the number of
external network access points. A software package provides a set of tools for
rapid traffic analysis, making it easier to identify anomalies in the network
ranging from network faults to attacks.
The test stacks aren’t managing live traffic yet, Halvorsen
said, but “the testing revealed that we had the capacity sized right ... [and]
that our architecture connection plan appears to be sound.” Some fine-tuning of
the software set is still needed, he said, as is some additional training for
the operating force.
“We're taking that for action now,” the acting CIO noted.
Improving Network Security
Joint regional security stacks will be effectively improving
the security of the entire DoD network by the end of 2016, Halvorsen said.
“I will have vision and connectivity throughout the DoD
network by the end of '16 ... By the end of '17 I'll have the full capability
available, with a few spots left to make sure that the full capability is
deployed,” he added.
Because the stacks allow network operators to have complete
visibility of network traffic, it’s likely that more attacks will be logged once
the systems are deployed, Halvorsen said. But, he explained, response time will
decrease, which provides the operator with more options.
“[The system] gets us the ability to have some sensors that
will give us better tip-off -- more precise and timely tip-off -- about what's
going on, on the network, so that we can take more responsive action,” the
acting CIO said.
Business Process Systems Review
In addition to testing and deploying the joint regional
security stacks, the CIO -- in conjunction with the department’s chief
management officer, who has the lead -- is conducting a business process systems
review across all of the principal staff assistant offices in DoD. The review is
focused on improving business systems and business processes -- whether that
means changing the process, changing the system or better integrating them,
The review complements the overall Joint Information
Environment effort, Halvorsen said. Not only does it help speed up the
implementation process, but by adopting a more businesslike approach, costs go
down at the same time the department gains a better understanding of what
capabilities it’s paying for.
The offices of the CIO and the DCMO have completed their
internal reviews already, he said.
“In CIO's case, one of the things we were able to do ... in
terms of contracting, I was able to reduce the CIO budget by $10 million in both
'15 and '16. [DCMO] saw some similar results,” Halvorsen said.
A review of Defense Logistics Agency is ongoing and next up;
starting Dec. 8 is the Defense Information Systems Agency, the acting CIO said.
Eventually all of the defense agencies will be reviewed, Halvorsen said. “We are
also starting I&E -- infrastructure and energy -- shortly [and] we're about
three-quarters of the way through [personnel and readiness],” he added.
“They will share all that data with the military departments,”
he said, noting that the services have also started on their own reviews. When
the reviews are complete, Halvorsen said, “we will have dialogue with the
military departments ... and probably do some selected target activities that
run the full gamut from the military services to the department agencies, all
the way up to the department leadership... .”
“As we focus on business systems and processes ... the result
of that has been both more effective and efficient output,” he said. “We've been
able to reduce [costs] by better looking at how we would buy things, by
re-engineering some efforts [and] by looking at how we maybe integrate some more
Open Standards Save Money
Another path to cost savings, he said, is to employ open
systems and software “to the greatest extent possible.”
Open systems can come with some additional cyber problems,
Halvorsen acknowledged, but, in some cases, they are of much higher quality and
security because of the level of scrutiny they receive.
“We are learning more and more about how to take open systems
that start with cleaner code and actually better protect them because we ... can
limit some of the known vulnerabilities,” he said.
“Now, that doesn't mean we're always going to use completely
open systems, but every place we can, just because it makes sense, ... we'll use
open architecture and we'll even use in some cases open applications,” Halvorsen
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)
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