The US has revealed plans to develop a cyber 'scorecard' to stay ahead of hackers and track cyber threats to its military systems.
The move by the US Cyber Command to build a large-scale electronic system to highlight vulnerabilities in US military computer networks, follows the release of a damning security report in 2014 that revealed major gaps in military security.
The development, led by Pentagon chief information officer Terry Halvorsen, comes after the 2014 report by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of testing and evaluation, which found that roughly two thirds of tested weaponry and cyber systems failed vital security checks.
Air Force lieutenant general Kevin McLaughlin told Reuters that US officials should reach agreement "within months" on plans to finalise the system, which he described as an "automated scorecard" to track of cyber threats and security gaps.
McLaughlin explained that new systems will initially analyse weaponry and computer networks but the Pentagon is also looking at building a "broader and more sophisticated approach" to monitor how data flows through the sensitive military networks.
McLaughlin revealed the plans at the annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit, saying the initial data entry will be done by hand. However, the plan is to create a fully automated system to help defence officials detect and respond to cyber breaches.
The focus of the new scorecard will be on the greatest threats, and will include analysis of new and old systems.
"There's probably not enough money in the world to fix all those things, but the question is what's most important, where should we put our resources as we eat the elephant one bite at a time," he said during his speech.
The development is likely to have been influenced by the increase in tension between the US and countries such as China and Russia, which have both ramped up the cyber rhetoric in recent months.
US president Barack Obama warned the Chinese government earlier this month that cyber attacks against the US are "not acceptable", a statement issued just ahead of a state visit by China's president Xi Jinping.
"I'm going to be getting a state visit from president Xi of China in a couple of weeks, and we've made very clear to the Chinese that there are certain practices that they're engaging in that we know are emanating from China and are not acceptable," he said.
Meanwhile, a Russian government-sponsored cyber threat was uncovered by security firm F-Secure, dubbed The Dukes, that attacks Western governments and organisations.
"The Dukes are a well-resourced, highly dedicated and organised cyber espionage group that we believe has been working for the Russian Federation since at least 2008 to collect intelligence in support of foreign and security policy decision making," the F-Secure report said.
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