Threat Management

New Pentagon guidance seeks to bolster classified info protections

DefenseScoop reports that U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has issued a new memo seeking to streamline how the Pentagon manages classified national security information following the leak of various classified documents online. Aside from ordering all Defense Department component heads to examine existing policies in handling classified information and establishing corrective action plans ensuring accountability by the end of next month, the memo has also required components outside the intelligence community to validate Sensitive Compartmented Information access for their staff. The defense undersecretary for intelligence and security has also been mandated to create a Joint Management Office for Insider Threat and Cyber Capabilities with the help of DoD Chief Information Officer John Sherman within three months in an effort to better supervise the monitoring of user activities. While the memo pushes improved protections for classified data, the Pentagon assured that it would prevent over-corrective actions. "This is to ensure that we're appropriately calibrating our response to make sure that we do not inhibit the department's ability to operate with both other components within the department, as well as our interagency partners. This is about making sure we're validating need-to-know not necessarily turning off access," said a senior defense official.

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