Defense Department discussing strategies to combat cyberattacks

Defense Department discussing strategies to combat cyberattacks

As security breaches continue to affect government agencies and businesses throughout the country, the U.S. Defense Department is completing new policies that would outline how the military will respond to cyberattacks.

The restructuring of procedures would increase the efficiency and speed of detecting a security issue, and intrusions could then be blocked instantly, according to government officials.

In an Associated Press report, General Keith Alexander, who directs the U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency, said attacks containing harmful viruses and malware are increasing, adding that the country's intelligence agencies must better correspond with private data security companies to initiate the improved safeguard of public networks.

According to the report, cybercriminals are using the internet to steal money, gain access to classified information and interrupt critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid and transportation services.

In March, the Office of Management and Budget released statistics stating that cyberattacks on the federal government increased 39 percent in 2010 from the previous year.

The Pentagon recently extended its cyber defense pilot program, which helps protect private defense contractors from information theft. Internet attacks on defense companies are near 30 percent of the Cyber Crime Center's total workload, the Associated Press reported.