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Tags: department of defense | cloud computing | security

Should the Department of Defense Put All Its Eggs in One Basket?

Should the Department of Defense Put All Its Eggs in One Basket?
(Pumai Vittayanukorn/Dreamstime.com)

Dan Perkins By Monday, 02 April 2018 11:53 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Under Armor just announced that they had a data breach on 150 million of their customer accounts. One or more of your accounts may be ones that were breached by hackers.

What if the Department of Defense is hacked and it has all of its data on one computer system with no backup? What if one place had every detail as to the military locations, personnel, and equipment on the site? What if any of the plans were there for an attack on North Korea or Iran in every aspect, or the response if in case they attack us were on that computer? Would that make you feel safe, knowing everything is in one place and all of it could be hacked?

Just for your information, the Department of Defense is thinking about selecting one cloud supplier for the DOD for possibly the next ten years. The security risk to our national security could be significant for us. The current front-runner for this contract is Amazon, which is among the top five largest cloud server companies in the business. The Channel Company ranks the top ten cloud companies based on revenue and Amazon was ranked number 2.

As I have looked at this issue, I have grave concerns about the ability of central government to build a website with a singular data storage service for the entire military. Do any of you remember the massive problems the government had with the rollout of the Obamacare website? Did that cover national security? What happens if one morning an operator pushes the on switch for his or her computer and nothing happens? Is America at risk? In my first novel about terrorism against the United States, called "The Brotherhood of the Red Nile: A Terrorist Perspective," I wrote about a terrorist attack on the cloud computing in the United States. I’m not saying that it will happen, but if we concentrate all of our data in one place, we put a massive target on that cloud server.

One of the risks with cloud servers is with companies moving their operating software to the cloud instead of to their local computers. If the cloud is under attack, companies and governments may not have file access to the systems that run their computers. According to SOASTA, a leading cloud testing company, as reported in June 2014, over 40 percent of Americans were using cloud backup, and my guess is it is now, four years later, over 50 percent or more.

What about cloud security? I have a website called Songsandstoriesforsoldiers.us. When I started several years ago, it was small, and my web hosting company said that they could handle my traffic on their local server. However, should my content and traffic grow, they may have to switch my site to be processed on an Amazon cloud server. I reached the point where what they told me might happen. Well it has happened, and now I find myself exposed to hackers trying to get into Amazon servers.

If we put all the military and civilian DOD information on one cloud server, it will be painting a great big bull's eye on the Pentagon. We will be daring hackers to try and crack the most valuable cloud server in the world. If successful, a hacker will find a valuable market for the DOD cloud content, and as the old Master Card commercial said, it would be Priceless!

Trend Micro reported that it’s not surprising that government is high up on Trend Micro’s vulnerable list, especially considering how hard government organizations were hit in 2015. According to Control Risks’ 2016 Riskmap Report, a third of all targeted cyber attacks were aimed at governments.

Given the incentive to hack the DOD and with the possibility of getting into the Amazon cloud through a different process, should we take the risk of having one server? Would it be advisable to have multiple backups, including diversionary ones? Several cloud server companies don’t agree with using one cloud server network. The Weekly Standard raised the question in their headline article, “What Could Go Wrong?”

Is it possible that this single vendor cloud contract is a rush to judgment? Perhaps on an agreement worth tens of billions of dollars and up to ten years duration, the old style of decision making needs more attention, such as multiple sources, open bidding, and a meaningful review? Is it possible that a wrong decision could put our county in peril?

Dan Perkins is an author of both thrillers and children’s books. He appears on over 1,100 radio stations. Mr. Perkins appears regularly on international TV talk shows, he is current events commentator for seven blogs, and a philanthropist with his foundation for American veterans, Songs and Stories for Soldiers, Inc. More information about him, his writings, and other works are available on his website, DanPerkins.guru. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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What if the Department of Defense is hacked and it has all of its data on one computer system with no backup?
department of defense, cloud computing, security
Monday, 02 April 2018 11:53 AM
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