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Pentagon Releases First-ever Cyberspace Strategy

Pentagon Releases First-ever Cyberspace Strategy - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Pentagon Releases First-ever Cyberspace Strategy - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Image: Melanie Gamarra

The Defense Department today released its strategy for operating in cyberspace, its first unified plan that aims to address the multitude of cyber threats the nation faces on a daily basis.

“It is critical to strengthen our cyber capabilities to address the cyber threats we’re facing,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a release. “I view this as an area in which we’re going to confront increasing threats in the future and think we have to be better prepared to deal with the growing cyber challenges that will face the nation.”

The threats are “urgent, sometimes uncertain and potentially devastating,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III. “Our infrastructure, logistics network and business systems are heavily computerized,” he said. “With 15,000 networks and more than 7 million computing devices, DoD continues to be a target in cyberspace for malicious activity.”

The Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace calls for DoD to realize five strategic initiatives. In the first, DoD will treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train and equip, in similar fashion to how it conducts in air, land, maritime and space to support national security interests.

Under the second initiative, DoD would employ new concepts to protect its digital infrastructure, including applying better cyber hygiene, beefing up its workforce communications, workforce accountability, internal monitoring, and information management capabilities, and enhancing cybersecurity to protect systems and networks.

The third step stresses partnerships with other federal departments and the private sector to allow for a “whole-of-government approach.” DoD will also continue to work closely with its interagency partners on new, innovative ways to bolster national cybersecurity, as seen in joint efforts such as the 2010 memorandum of agreement signed by DoD and Department of Homeland Security.

In the fourth initiative, DoD “will seek increasingly robust international relationships to reflect our core commitments and common interests in cyberspace.” Sharing information about incidents, threat signatures and emerging actors and threats will help allies and global partners increase collective cybersecurity, the strategy says.

Lastly, the plan calls for DoD to build a workforce of skilled civilian and military cyber warriors, and to enhance its acquisition processes to ensure effective cyberspace operations. “DoD“™s cyberspace acquisition programs will reflect the adaptive nature of cyberspace; it will emphasize agility, embrace new operating concepts, and foster collaboration across the scientific community and the U.S. government as a whole,” the strategy noted.

 

 

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