If one is looking for evidence that the Defense Department has gone some distance toward better managing and defending its famously decentralized collection of thousands of disparate IT networks, the aftermath of this past spring’s WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks is a good place to start.
Although they did severe damage to hundreds of thousands of global computers, the military services — like most civilian federal agencies — escaped both episodes essentially unscathed, officials say. But that’s not to say that IT leaders didn’t learn a thing or two about what they need to do to improve their response to cyber attacks in the future.
Brig. Gen. Maria Barrett, the deputy director for operations at U.S. Cyber Command, said the quick defensive response that CYBERCOM and the rest of DoD was able to mount against the potentially crippling attack showed that the military has made major strides in governing and securing its networks at an enterprise level.