Tags: Homeland Security | War on Terrorism | Pentagon | spending | cybersecurity | Frank Kendall

Pentagon Emphasizes Cybersecurity as External Threats Mount

By    |   Friday, 10 Apr 2015 04:13 PM

A new Defense Department program is aimed at tightening spending and ratcheting up cybersecurity among defense contractors.

Called Better Buying Power 3.0 (BBP3), the program, the third in a series, differs from its predecessors in that it pressures companies to put research money recovered from the Pentagon back into research rather than into stock buybacks and dividends, and invest in better cybersecurity to protect military technology from falling into enemy hands, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The emphasis on cybersecurity is new, termed "one of the biggest issues facing the department and our nation" by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, National Defense Magazine reports.

"Since the beginning of World War II, all of our approaches in defense have assumed that we would have technical dominance over all of our adversaries," Work said.

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, said: "The technological superiority of the United States is now being challenged by potential adversaries in ways not seen since the Cold War," the Journal noted.

"All our efforts to improve technological superiority will be in vain if we do not provide effective cybersecurity throughout the product life cycle," the Journal reported from a Pentagon press release.

Part of BBP3 is designing new weapons systems in such a way that later technological upgrades are easier and cheaper, rather than requiring a complete redesign, Defense One noted, using as an example the planned new Air Force long-range strike bomber, with plans under way to buy 80-100 of them at about $550 million apiece.

"We've got to stay on top of what the threats are doing. That means we design for upgrades," Kendall said, FedScoop noted.

Better Buying Power programs, in effect for the past five years, already have saved $1.6 billion on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite, $1 billion on Virginia Class submarines and a projected $19 billion on development of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, FedScoop notes from a Pentagon publication.

The Pentagon, the Journal says, also wants to invest more money in drones, robots, surveillance and reconnaissance data systems, and 3-D printing.

The Defense Department hopes to "tap into that flow of technology that is moving so much more quickly than our normal development cycle," Kendall told National Defense Magazine, adding that the Pentagon must do a "more effective job of accessing and employing commercial technologies."

"Our adversaries are already doing so," he said.

While the Pentagon will provide incentives for companies to innovate, it also plans to increase scrutiny of companies' research information, The Washington Post notes, an action that likely will be opposed by defense firms anxious to keep their developments confidential.

Kendall said: "We're going to put a little more regulation in place to tighten the relationship between government and industry for R&D. We want to leave industry with the flexibility to make decisions about how to invest, but we want them to be coupled more tightly to the government," FedScoop reported.

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A new Defense Department program is aimed at tightening spending and ratcheting up cybersecurity among defense contractors. Called Better Buying Power 3.0 (BBP3), the program, the third in a series, differs from its predecessors in that it . . .
Pentagon, spending, cybersecurity, Frank Kendall
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2015-13-10
Friday, 10 Apr 2015 04:13 PM
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