And you wonder . . .
. . . why certain agencies flat-out refuse to connect to warfighter networks:
John Schoonover, who worked for the Department of Defense on one of the largest network deployments in history during Operation Enduring Freedom was “witness to a huge lack of IQ points” in a senior manager.
According to Schoonover, military INFOSEC installations generally follow a concept termed “the separation of red and black.” Red is simply data that has not been encrypted yet. (Danger, the world and sniffers can see you!) Black is the same data after it has been encrypted and is now ready to traverse the world. “These areas [red and black] are required to be separated by a six foot physical gap,” Schoonover says.
Our hero proceeds to follow these guidelines and deploys the network, but comes back from lunch one day to find the firewall down. Investigation shows that a senior manager “had taken the cabling from the inside router and connected to the Internet for connectivity, thus bypassing all firewall services, encryption, and — oh yeah, that’s right — the entire secure network with a jump straight to the Internet!”
Why is it that whenever I hear about all these grandiose plans to IP-ize troops so that the great squad leader in the sky can see what is going on from the grunt’s eye view, I think that connectivity at all costs, not connectivity-with-security, is going to win out. I wonder . . .