[ISN] DOD envisions virtual Pentagon

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Oct 31 2001 - 02:37:14 PST

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    By Christopher J. Dorobek 
    Oct. 30, 2001
    In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Defense Department
    is developing plans for a "virtual Pentagon" that would enable DOD
    officials to continue to work even in the event of a large scale
    attack on the Pentagon, senior military information technology
    officials said.
    The plans, which are referred to either as the "virtual Pentagon" or
    the "distributed Pentagon," are a significant redesign of DOD's IT
    contingency plans, which were found to be inadequate as a result of
    the crash.
    "[Sept. 11] was a wake-up call [where people said], 'Oh, that could
    happen to my data,' " said Margaret Myers, DOD's acting deputy chief
    information officer.
    The attacks showed that there were some vulnerabilities, she said in
    an Oct. 29 presentation at the MILCOM conference in Vienna, Va. There
    were some single points of failure where systems were not sufficiently
    "We are working to address these issues," she said.
    The plans focus on creating redundancies and locating those backup
    sites away from the Pentagon so operations can continue even if there
    is an attack similar to the one sustained Sept. 11, she said.
    The plans are more than just a tweaking of the existing plans, Myers
    noted. "Part of the waking up is that we discovered the plans weren't
    adequate," she said.
    The Army's budget office, which sustained a significant number of
    causalities, also lost a significant amount of data, she said.
    The Navy, which lost about 70 percent of its Pentagon space in the
    attack, did lose some data, but the Navy had its backup stored
    off-site at another Navy facility.
    DOD's contingency plans made prior to the Year 2000 date change
    provide some valuable information, but do not go far enough, Myers
    "It helped in knowing where the critical paths were, and that was
    useful information," she said. But it did not address the issue of
    contingencies if the paths were destroyed altogether, she said.
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