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DOD details how the US military will operate in cyberspace

Military to take an active role in protecting US organizations and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has given details of its first holistic strategy for operating in cyberspace.

Speaking at the launch of the DOD ‘Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace’ at the National Defense University on July 14, 2011, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said:

“We do not know the exact way in which cyber will figure in the execution of [DOD’s] mission, or the precise scenarios that will arise, but the centrality of information technology to our military operations and our society virtually guarantees that future adversaries will target our dependence on it.”

“Our assessment is that cyber attacks will be a significant component of any future conflict, whether it involves major nations, rogue states or terrorist groups. The existence of tools that disrupt or destroy critical networks, cause physical damage, or alter the performance of key systems marks a strategic shift in the evolving cyber threat”.

“As a result of this threat keystrokes originating in one country can impact the other side of the globe in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, bits and bytes can be as threatening as bullets and bombs.”

An important element of the strategy is to deny or minimize an attack, Lynn said. “If we can minimize the impact of attacks on our operations and attribute them quickly and definitively, we may be able to change the decision calculus of an attacker,” he explained.

Other elements, or pillars, of the strategy include:

- Treating cyberspace as an operational domain like land, air, sea and space, operating and defending department networks and training and equipping forces for cyber missions.

- Introducing new operating concepts on department networks, including active cyber defenses, using sensors, software and signatures to stop malicious code before it affects operations.

- Working with the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector to protect critical national infrastructure like the power grid, transportation system and financial sector.

- Building collective cyber defenses with allies and international partners to expand awareness of malicious activity and help defend against attacks.

- Fundamentally shifting the technological landscape of cyber security by significantly enhancing network security.

•Date: 15th July 2011 • Region: US •Type: Article • Topic: Critical infrastructure protection

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