bandwidth, more capability, we’re interested in that as well,” he adds.
For now, Gen. Lynn maintains a
degree of separation between DISA,
which builds networks, and the JFHQ-DODIN, which defends them. He does
this to avoid one activity inhibiting the
other. “The tendency in the cyber world
is to try to lock down the network as
much as possible,” he observes. “The
build side of the house is to provide as
much throughput, traffic and information as we can possibly make flow correctly. That’s an interesting balance.” The
general says this “yin and yang” are in
Gen. Lynn says he does not want network users to be concerned about outages or intrusions. “I don’t want them
to have to worry about a fiber cut in
Djibouti,” he states. “The guys building
the network need to worry about that.
I want the cyber guys fully focused on
the enemy, and the enemy is ubiquitous.
They are all over the place trying to get
in, and we are doing a tremendous job
of blocking them every step of the way.
“In the rare exception on some zero
day when they can get in, guess what?
They don’t get out.”
The new warfighting environment
that DISA and the JFHQ-DODIN con-
front complicates matters. Coalition
operations are almost mandatory in
future conflicts, so DISA cannot afford
to build a U.S.-only network environ-
ment. The agency must factor in a num-
ber of potential partners and build out
capabilities for a variety of missions.
One solution to this challenge is to
build what Gen. Lynn describes as a
“gray network.” This SDN—mobile
down to a single device—would be
cost-effective yet secure thanks to
multiple techniques DISA employs for
unclassified systems with a high level of
assurance. “We need to start thinking
more in that regard,” he allows.
Coalition operations will call for
greater network interoperability and
virtualization. DISA has networks
that interoperate with allies, but each
nation needs virtualized controls to
manage its portion. Effectively, this
would constitute another network
that allows different coalition nations
to share information and to adjust
access to that information. “Having
something that we all agree to …
and that [other countries] have full
control over would be very powerful,” Gen. Lynn posits. “I think we’re
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