New DOD cell focuses on protecting unclassified data. But if data is unclassified, why do we need to protect it?

by Mr. Andrew Fulton, Mr. Keith Ramsey and Mr. Thomas Quigley

When it comes to protecting classified information, military personnel, civilians and contractors know the rules by heart. And if they don’t, required annual or semiannual retraining reminds everyone of the rules.

But for at least one category of unclassified information, those rules become murky. This sometimes overlooked aspect of maintaining U.S. technological superiority is a growing concern as global access to the internet increases and cyberattacks become more sophisticated and commonplace.

In February, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan suggested new regulations may be set to ensure that industry partners better secure their computer networks and the information residing on those networks. “We want the bar to be so high, it becomes a condition of doing business,” Shanahan said at the annual 2018 WEST Conference in San Diego.

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