Chuck Hagel: Pentagon Must Update Unclassified Data Protection Strategy

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is directing the Pentagon to adopt new strategies to protect sensitive but unclassified information stored on or passes through military computer networks, the American Forces Press Service reported Thursday.

Claudette Roulo writes Hagel told undersecretaries in a memo Oct. 10 to update standards, guidance and policies that work to help organizations prevent theft of critical data.

“Stolen data provides potential adversaries extraordinary insight into U.S. defense and industrial capabilities and allows them to save time and expense in developing similar capabilities,” Hagel wrote, according to the report.

“Protection of this data is a high priority for the department and is critical to preserving the intellectual property and competitive capabilities of our national industrial base and the technological superiority of our fielded military systems,” he added.

Hagel wants the Pentagon, National Security Agency and Defense Information Systems Agency to continue identifying measures to secure unclassified data under the department-wide Joint Information Environment program, Roulo writes.

AFPS reports the Pentagon will also require defense contractors to establish network security protocols and report any breach that results in data loss.

These actions will ensure that the department provides a cohesive, comprehensive and cost-effective approach to protect priority investments and future defense capabilities while maintaining efficient business operations with our industrial partners,” Hagel said.

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