Seeking Balanced Network Approach

Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds, head of Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., speaking at the Net-centric Operations Conference this week in New Castle, N.H., said USAF should really “decide what the crown jewels are and focus on protecting them” when it comes to network operations, because trying to protect everything is impractical. Lt. Gen. William Lord, USAF’s chief information officer, agreed and suggested that it’s not necessary to limit the network’s utility to protect it; rather the service needs to “find the right balance.” Bowlds recommended overhauling the arduous certification and accreditation procedure that validates—or not—new capabilities to be added to the network because “the six-month process isn’t necessary in every case.” They agreed, too, that the Pentagon should adopt a single approach for so-called social media, like FaceBook and Twitter, and that should entail a middle-of the-road, less restrictive approach. (Conference report by Chuck Paone)