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Old Policies Inhibit Cyber Interoperability, Official Says

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

BALTIMORE, June 27, 2013 – Policies that inhibit interoperability in the cyber domain with coalition partners and other agencies are worthy of re-examination, a senior U.S. Cyber Command official said at the 2013 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association cyber symposium here yesterday.

Army Maj. Gen. Jennifer L. Napper, Cybercom’s director of plans and policy, said reassessing the purpose of information sharing comes down to setting basic standards for connectivity and operability.

Napper said the initial policies came to be during a time that predated modern technology, which now more astutely determines that only people on a “need-to-know” basis can access certain information. “We’re beyond that,” said the general told the audience. “We can do role-based identity management today. We can tag data. We can make sure we can share.”

The task at hand now, Napper said, is transitioning from legacy systems into a more open data environment that allows officials to tag data so access it is based on identity management. Getting consensus on standards and then setting and sticking to those standards will facilitate information sharing with international partners in various capacities, initiatives and operations, she added.

As cyberspace plays a more prominent role in partnerships, particularly with Russia and China, cooperation among the U.S. government, industry and other nations will become increasingly vital. “This, more than any other area, must be a team sport,” Napper said.

 

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