Pentagon is planning to increase its personnel count in the forthcoming years to counter a growing security threat to the nation’s defense and other government computer network systems. The aim is to not only counter the threats but also ensure that a proper offensive measure can be employed in the event the need ever arises, said a U.S. defense official. The proposed plans are for three distinct types of forces. One would be the National mission forces that would protect the electrical grids and other infrastructure, the Combat mission forces which would be a support group for offensive combat missions and the Cyber Protection Forces.
The increase in personnel will include both military and civilian to the U.S. Cyber Command which the Pentagon is planning to be elevated to the same level as the other active combat commands. While mentioning this, the spokesperson also mentioned that there has been no official decision made as yet. Thus it is not clear whether the move to convert the Cyber Command into a more cohesive command like the U.S. Strategic Command or increase in defense personnel will go through finally.
The Pentagon and the U.S. Cyber Command is stated to be working closely on this trying to determine what should be the optimum structure of the cyber command to ensure that a strong cyber response team can be operated.
In another report by The Washington Post, senior defense personnel were quoted as saying that the Pentagon has decided to increase the total number of personnel at the Cyber Command from the existing 900 to 4900 in the years ahead. While confirming that the reports are true about the decision the official mentioned that the exact figures are mere speculations as no decision has been taken about the same.
The recent frantic calls for bolstering the Cyber Command are directly related with a wave of attacks which occurred last year. One such attack took out 30,000 computers at the premise of Saudi Arabian state oil company.