NO!: We can not make people immortal, but that does not mean we should abandon medicine. Nobody can provide perfect information assurance, but that does not mean the DoD should ignore a problem that may result in catastrophic military consequences.
The issues that must be considered for proper information assurance in the DII span a wide range, and a wide range of solutions exist to address these issues. There are some challenges in information assurance that are now and will likely remain imperfectly addressed for some time to come, but the vast majority of the challenges today can be adequately addressed with a reasonable amount of well directed effort.
Perhaps a more enlightening view of this issue is the question of how much it will cost to address information assurance, and how much the US will save as a result of wisely spending that money. In this limited report, we cannot even begin to address the specific issues for specific solutions in specific systems, but we advocate financial and military analysis before undertaking costly action. We also believe that early investment will pay enormous dividends in both the short-term and the long-term:
* By assuring the US is able to win on the information battlefield. * By dramatically reducing the long term cost of information assurance. * By reducing the costs of disruptions in the DII.
The information assurance challenge is not only one that can be met, but one that must be met, if the US is to attain and retain a competitive edge in both the DoD and national information arenas.
Based on our study, we believe that the following three items are the most vital things the DoD can do in order to provide a DII with adequate information assurance.