When you look to protect your PC from cyber attack, you may spend between $50 and $100 to protect your computer. When the United States Department of Defense looks to protect their computers from cyber attack, they spend half a billion dollars.
At the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Deputy Defense Secretary (my old job*) William Lynn made the announcement that $500 Million of the $2.3 Billion requested by the Defense Department to improve their cyber capabilities will go towards researching new security technology.
Cyber defense is not a military mission, like defending our airspace, where the sole responsibility lies with the military… The overwhelming percentage of our nation�s critical infrastructure — including the Internet itself — is largely in private hands. It is going to take a public-private partnership to secure our networks.
What sort of “public-private partnership” is Lynn talking about? During his speech, he told the room that he had already met with both Intel and Google, and he was planning to meet with Microsoft.
The Defense Department’s efforts will go beyond the Pentagon’s computers. Lynn said that they were working with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that both the financial systems and the United States’ electrical grid is just as secure as the military systems. This is good news for all of us who feel that the US power grid is kind of important.
*Not really my old job.