Nominee: Defense of Pentagon Networks ‘Not Where It Should Be’

Reuters Contributor
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s ability to defend its own computer networks is “not where it should be,” Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, said on Wednesday.

Carter said the U.S. military needed to increase protection of its networks, but the government could also do more to help protect private networks against cyberattacks without jeopardizing Americans’ privacy.

“Not only is our civilian infrastructure susceptible to cyberattack, but we have to be concerned about our military infrastructure,” Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “There’s no point in having planes and ships and armored vehicles in today’s world if the network is itself vulnerable.”

He said he hoped to work with the committee to increase cybersecurity for the U.S. military, and said the U.S. government could also share more information with the private sector, as long as certain legal safeguards were in place.

He said the government could also sponsor technology and research on better technologies and practices to better protect the networks of private companies.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by James Dalgleish)