By Sarah Breen ReporterFor the second time in as many months, a new cybersecurity threat has hit the federal government.
On Monday, the Senate Armed Services Committee released its annual cybersecurity report, which revealed that the nation’s defense contractors were not fully protecting their networks against new cyberattacks.
It was the first time since the report was issued in 2014 that the panel has not released a detailed report on the state of cybersecurity.
The Pentagon was not included in the report, according to a senior defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the document was not yet available.
The report, the official said, “shows a lot of companies are not really taking the threat of a cyberattack seriously.”
The report showed that the Pentagon had only $6 billion in the bank, down from $30 billion a year earlier, and the military was “losing money” on the cost of the cyberwarfare, which was costing the government $1 trillion a year, the senior defense officials said.
The government was also losing money on defense procurement and contracting, the officials said, which had been $1.7 trillion a month.
The U.S. military is now spending about $4 billion a day, which has risen to $5 billion a week, on cybersecurity, said the senior officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Pentagon’s cyber budget for fiscal year 2019 is now $17 billion.
It’s not clear how many of the $6.7 billion the Pentagon is losing on cybersecurity is related to the new cyberattack.
The officials spoke on condition of not being identified discussing personnel matters.
The Senate report, however, did say that the Defense Department’s Cyber Command had “taken a very focused approach to preventing and mitigating the impact of cyberattacks.”
The Pentagon, the senators said, had been taking steps to better protect its networks, including improving cyber security posture, conducting cyber-risk assessments, and training Cyber Command personnel.
But, the report said, the department was “still lagging behind.”
The Defense Department has been “lagging behind” in its efforts to prevent cyberattacks from coming to the military, the committee report said.
It noted that the cyberattacks on the military have been a “growing concern” and called on the Pentagon to make “immediate changes to address this concern.”
The committee said it is working to improve its cyber defense capabilities.
The defense officials also noted that some of the department’s cybersecurity experts are “leaving the service.”
The lawmakers, who have been briefed on the findings, did not elaborate on how many people were leaving.
“I’m confident that these are going to be the kinds of reports that will continue to be issued,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Monday.
“It’s important that we continue to do that, because we know that if we don’t, then we have a very real and very serious cybersecurity threat.”
The officials said that while there are still “a lot of good, dedicated cybersecurity experts” at the Pentagon, they were not prepared to release a complete report until the end of the year.
“We’re going to have to wait for the end to see how this report is received by the full committee,” said the official.
The committee, the second panel to report on cybersecurity on Monday, is a bipartisan group of lawmakers and retired Gen. James Mattis, who is in charge of U.A.E. and the Pentagon.
It will meet again on Monday to continue to review the report and to provide its findings to the president.
“This is not the end,” McCain said.
“This is the beginning.”