Board Certified

By Dan Dupont / May 31, 2011 at 4:06 PM

The Defense Science Board is at work on a slate of new and interesting studies, on "resilient" military systems and cybersecurity and reliability in the cloud. We've got the terms of reference memos below.

DSB head Paul Kaminski talked about the two efforts a few months ago. From our story:

Kaminski told reporters . . . that the move to the cloud comes with "a lot of pluses, probably some cons that we need to understand as we go into this." He said the government believes that moving toward cloud computing will help create a better security environment while reducing costs.

The Obama administration cited a shift to a cloud-first policy as one of the major tenets in its proposed reform of IT management. In a Dec. 9 implementation plan, the federal chief information officer directed all agencies, including the Defense Department, to identify within three months of the mandate three services it "must move" to the cloud. One of those services must be moved to the cloud within a year, and the remaining two have to be shifted over within 18 months. The federal CIO also plans to publish a strategy to "accelerate the safe and secure adoption of cloud computing across the government" by the summer, according to the implementation plan.

The second task force, Kaminski said, will ask "Can we begin to define some meaningful metrics associated with the resilience of performing our mission, which is dependent upon our supporting IT systems?" The goal behind the study is is to assess ways to measure resilience and to come up with "output metrics."

In an interview with Inside the Pentagon following the breakfast, Kaminski said output metrics include the quality of work being produced and the reliability of a product.

Today, he said, the military lacks such metrics. "I come to you and say, 'Man, I got a whole bunch of tools that are going to improve your cybersecurity, and it's only going to cost you $300 million,'" Kaminski said, as an example. "You ask me, 'Well, how do I know it's going to be better?' And I say, 'Trust me.'"

Better metrics, he added, will benefit military test and evaluation teams, among others in the Pentagon. "Different missions are going to require perhaps some different measures of resilience," Kaminski said. "In fact, resiliency in accomplishing the mission in the end -- that you want to get some handle on."

The documents:

DSB Terms Of Reference Memo On 'Resilient Military Systems'

In a May 19, 2011, memo, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn calls for the establishment of a Defense Science Board task force "to assess issues affecting the resiliency of military systems that rely on information and communication technology."

DSB Terms Of Reference Memo On 'Cybersecurity And Reliability In A Digital Cloud'

In a May 19, 2011, memo, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn calls for the establishment of a Defense Science Board task force "to evaluate all aspects of providing reliable, secure and responsive services for military and intelligence applications using these technologies."