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Congress Directs the Pentagon to Appoint a Cyber Czar

Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock.com

In the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act passed by House lawmakers last week, Congress required the Defense Department appoint a high level Principal Cyber Advisor with a broad oversight portfolio that includes offensive and defensive cyber missions, resources, personnel, acquisition and technology. A Senate vote on the bill is expected this week.

The new cyber advisor will have “overall supervision” of all Defense cyber operations and will oversee a team that will integrate the cyber expertise of the four services, combatant commands and Defense agencies. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to select the new cyber advisor from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced its intention to add a new high-level cyber post, Defense One reported yesterday. Nextgov and Defense One are both Atlantic Media publications.

Congress also directed the Pentagon to conduct a broad analysis of its cyber operations to include manpower requirements, education and training, the potential for offering bonuses for cyber personnel and the use of “virtual deployments” to support operations.

The mission analysis also should assess cyber forces’ current and future equipping needs as well as the department’s dependence on industry partners, foreign allies and other outside entities to perform cyber operations.

The bill calls for the services, in conjunction with Cyber Command, to determine whether cyber missions could be performed by National Guard and Reserve units and personnel, including domestic cyber missions.

(Image via Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock.com)

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