DARPA to increase cybersecurity research spending, boost cyber arsenal

The Pentagon’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, recently announced plans to boost cybersecurity spending by up to 50% over the next five years.

At least some of that extra cash will be devoted to boosting the US Military’s cyber arsenal, allowing our military to be just as effective in cyberspace as they are on the ground in offensive attacks. Additionally, DARPA wants to beef up their defenses, admitting that their security isn’t exactly where they want it to be.

“Modern warfare will demand the effective use of cyber, kinetic, and combined cyber and kinetic means,” said agency director Regina Dugan, speaking before a DARPA ‘cyber colloquium’ held at a hotel in Virginia. “We need more options, we need more speed, and we need more scale. We must both protect its peaceful shared use as well as prepare for hostile cyber acts that threaten our military capabilities.”

Dugan was speaking to a collection of what she referred to as “visionary hackers” and various academics and cybersecurity experts at the event. DARPA is essentially reaching out to the cyber community for help in light of growing concerns about the security of government networks.

She admitted that while security of sensitive government infrastructure network has grown over the past several years, the reality is that it’s still too easy to gain access to the networks. Just last week, the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a branch of the US government, told Congress that China and Russia are using cyber attacks to steal trade and technology secrets from the US. (source: Chicago Tribune)

“We are losing ground because we are inherently divergent from the threat,” Dugan explained. “Such divergences are the seeds of surprise, and this [size disparity] is a striking example of why it’s currently easier to play offense rather than defense in cyber. This is not to suggest that we stop doing what we are doing in cybersecurity. But if we continue only down the current path, we will not converge with the threat.”

via Wired

[Image credit: US Air Force]