GAO: DoD, Congress Identify Potential Measures to Address NSA-Cybercom Leadership Separation Risks

The Government Accountability Office has reported that the Defense Department and congressional panels have identified possible strategies to mitigate potential risks that may arise if DoD separates the current dual-hat leadership structure of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command.

Suggested measures include formalization of NSA-Cybercom collaboration agreements and development of a persistent environment that will support on-demand cyber training programs, GAO said Tuesday.

Adm. Michael Rogers, an inductee into Executive Mosaic‘s Wash100 for 2017, concurrently serves as NSA director and Cybercom commander.

GAO also interviewed DoD officials to determine their insights about the dual-hat leadership arrangement as well as the department’s cybersecurity guidance, strategies and data.

Officials told the federal watchdog agency the dual-hat system helps to increase coordination, decision-making and efficiency of resources between Cybercom and NSA.

However, they found such leadership structure has caused tension between staff of both organizations who oversee military and/or intelligence missions that GAO said “are not always mutually achievable.”

DoD has not made a decision on whether to split oversight of NSA and Cybercom as of April, GAO noted.

The watchdog agency also found that the department has implemented cybersecurity measures under the DOD Cloud Computing Strategy and has worked toward implementing the DOD Cyber Strategy and DOD Cybersecurity Campaign.

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