recommended reading

Defense to Weigh Civilian Cyber Militia

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to evaluate the plan.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to evaluate the plan. // Defense Department

Congress has mandated that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel evaluate the practicality of hiring part-time nonmilitary employees to help the National Guard thwart cyberattacks.

Some states and other nations, including Estonia, already have volunteer netwarfare squads poised to protect networks controlling oil reserves, subways and other critical infrastructure in times of crisis.

The corps outlined in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that lawmakers approved on Thursday night would recruit "non-dual technicians," or National Guard personnel who are not required to deploy overseas. Dual-status employees must be uniformed military members and maintain their Defense Department ranks and assignment units. 

The legislative text calls for "an assessment of the appropriateness of hiring on a part-time basis non-dual status technicians who possess appropriate cyber security expertise for purposes of assisting the National Guard in protecting critical infrastructure and carrying out cyber missions."

Earlier this year, House and Senate members from both parties introduced legislation that would stand up a National Guard "Cyber and Computer Network Incident Response Team" -- or Cyber Guard -- in every state. Officials with the National Guard Association of the United States have said they back the proposals, but note Defense officials have argued the teams might sap resources from departmental cyber activities. 

There have been concerns about domestic extremist groups or cybersecurity contractors forming rogue bands of cyber patriots. But it does not appear that either of the Guard organizations described is structured in a way that would give rise to such cyber mercenaries. 

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

Wireless Heart Monitor Maker to Pay $2.5M Settlement to HHS After Laptop Stolen

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.