By Bob Gourley
Note: we previous summarized and pointed you to a closely related DSB report on Resilient Military Systems and the Cyber Threat. These two studies are related and the study teams held some joint meetings to help ensure the best possible recommendations for the department.
The DSB Report on Cyber Security and Reliability in a Digital Cloud is a publicly available document hosted on the DoD website. It is the result of a study by a task force chartered by the department to conduct an independent assessment of the suitability of cloud computing architectures for DoD applications. Key factors in the assessment included DoD mission enhancements, cyber security benefits and risks, and potential cost savings associated with cloud computing. The task force was made up of some real heros of national security related IT, great champions who have spent years in service to science for our national security. The task force was chaired by Dr. Eric Evans and Dr. Robert Grossman, two of the smartest, hardest working and kindest people I’ve ever met.
The task force offers important recommendations for DoD focused on identifying and applying cloud computing resources to DoD mission areas; improving DoD’s implementation of cloud computing, enhancing cloud resiliency in degraded operations and in identifying areas requiring further research and development.
The bottom line of this report: For sensitive data, well engineered private clouds are a better approach than any public cloud option at this point.
In the words of the task force co-chairs: ”The Task Force recommends that for sensitive, classified, or time-critical applications, the DoD should pursue private cloud computing to enhance mission capabilities, provided that strong security measures are in place. This report recommends several improvements in cloud computing implementations to strengthen cyber security and reliability.”
There is special focus on modern cloud computing architectures and data center designs supportive of mission needs. There is an entire section on the architecture of the modern cloud data center. This section lays out very well the benefits of modular systems and underscores their finding and recommendation on modular data centers. They find that:
Modular data centers offer an approach to quickly set up cloud computing capacity, to add additional capability to existing cloud computing data centers, and to easily refresh or update existing capability
For more on this report download it here: Cyber Security and Reliability in a Digital Cloud