The Host Based Security System is the defense department’s most widely deployed tool for combating cyber attacks against military networks. It has undergone multiple upgrades since its use was first mandated for use on both classified and unclassified networks in 2007, and is probably the most thoroughly tested cybersecurity system the federal government has. That’s a compelling reason for evolving it rather than replacing it as the Defense Information Systems Agency considers how to extend cyber protection to a wider range of devices, from smart phones to the Cloud to the Internet of Things. Having spent half a billion dollars to install HBSS on hundreds of thousands of endpoints and explain it to a similar number of users, it would be a fiscal and technological fantasy to believe it can simply be replaced. DISA ought to follow the same pattern that the evolution of the human brain did — having developed a foundation for accomplishing the basic functions, build it out to enhance the performance. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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