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DISA needs DoDIN operational mission, says cyber chief

Jul. 1, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By BARRY ROSENBERG   |   Comments
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ADM Mike Rogers: DISA needs an operational mission to operate and defend the DoDIN. (SAUL LOEB / AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Cyber Command and the Defense Information Systems Agency are working collaboratively to develop a construct under which the agency will operate and defend the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN), and will be ready to unveil that construct in the fall, said ADM Mike Rogers, USCYBERCOM commander and director of the National Security Agency.

“DISA was primarily an engineering and acquisition organization,” said Rogers earlier this week at the AFCEA cyber conference. “We need to give DISA an operational mission to operate and defend the DoDIN.”

The biggest challenge is related to the military’s network structure. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines each have their own global IT backbone, and DISA doesn’t have good visibility into those networks.


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“DISA can’t see into the service networks very well,” said Rogers. “How can you defend something you can’t see into?”

According to Rogers, DISA needs to be put in a position where the agency can see the network from end to end so it can defend. That means establishment of a single global network for all the services, in which they only plug into that global network for the last tactical mile.

“We need a joint global backbone,” said Rogers, adding that the Joint Information Environment plan has that as one of its end states. “I have been a big proponent of JIE, which is a shift from a service-centric approach to networks to a common backbone.”

See our online special report: JIE Explained

Rogers emphasized that there is no direct reporting relationship between the agency and the command, but the two are working together on the common goals of the JIE.

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