DOD at Work on New Cyber Strategy
DOD at Work on New Cyber
Strategy, Senior Military Advisor Says
By Cheryl Pellerin, American
Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– July 1, 2013 – The Defense Department released its first strategy for
operating in cyberspace two years ago this month, and officials are at work on
the next version, the senior military advisor for cyber to the undersecretary of
defense for policy said in Baltimore last week.
Air Force Tech Sgt. Kevin Garner and
Air Force Senior Airman David Solnok, cyber transport technicians assigned to
the 354th Communications Squadron, hook cables in to the new Air Force Network
router system at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Jan. 26, 2012. The system
enhanced cyber capabilities by providing network oversight to all U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Army Maj. Gen. John A. Davis spoke to a lunch audience at the
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International Cyber
Symposium, noting that two years might equal 20 in the domain that accommodates
“Senior leaders in the department and beyond the department understand that
cyber is a problem [and] cyber is important. They’ve made cyber a priority, and
there is a sense of urgency,” the general said.
The strategy’s five initiatives were to treat cyberspace as an operational
domain, use new defense operating concepts to protect Defense Department
networks, partner with other federal agencies and the private sector for a
whole-of-government approach, partner with international allies for a global
approach, and leverage the nation’s ingenuity through an exceptional cyber
workforce and technological innovation.
The department’s method for implementing the strategy is called the cyber
initiative group, the general said. “It’s a process that includes engagement at
all levels, from the action-officer level all the way to senior defense
leadership,” he explained.
A great deal of work remains, he added, “but we have made some really good
progress in a number of areas under each of these strategy components.” The
process has been difficult and complex, he added, which reflects the complex
interrelationships involved in the cyberspace arena.
Over the past two years, Davis said, the department has made progress in several
areas. For example, he told the audience, DOD has:
-- Established service cyber components under U.S. Cyber Command;
-- Established joint cyber centers at each combatant command;
-- Implemented a military-orders process to handle cyber action as it is handled
in other operational domains in a process supported by an emergency conferencing
procedure that links key organizations and leaders from across DOD and
government to quickly assess major cyber threats and make decisions;
-- Established an interim command-and-control framework for cyberspace
operations across joint service and defense agency organizations;
-- Developed a force structure model for cyber force organizations;
-- Established a plan and developed orders to transition to a new network
architecture called the Joint Information Environment, or JIE, that will make
DOD networks more effective, defendable and efficient; and
-- Conducted two years of Cyber Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in
Nevada that were joint, full-spectrum cyberspace operations exercises using live
opposition forces and a virtual environment that mirrored current cyber threats.
DOD’s mission is to defend the nation in all domains, but in cyberspace, the
department shares its role with other members of the federal cybersecurity team,
including the Justice Department and its FBI, the lead for investigation and law
enforcement, the general said.
Other team members are the Department of Homeland Security -- the lead for
protecting critical infrastructure and government systems outside the military
-- and the intelligence community, which is responsible for threat intelligence
and attribution, he added, noting that there are even roles and responsibilities
for public-private and international partners.
DOD has begun to refine its role in defending the nation in cyberspace, Davis
“We have three main cyber missions, and three kinds of cyber forces will operate
around the clock to conduct those missions,” the general explained.
National mission forces will be prepared to counter adversary cyberattacks, he
said. A second, larger set of combat mission forces will be prepared to support
combatant commanders as they execute military missions, integrating cyber
capabilities and effects into their military contingency plans and operations
alongside traditional capabilities and effects, he added.
Still other cyber protection forces -- the largest set, Davis said, will operate
and defend the networks that support military operations worldwide.
“We will deter, disrupt and deny adversary cyberspace operations that threaten
vital U.S. interests when approved by the president and directed by the
secretary of defense,” he said. “If a crippling cyberattack is launched against
our nation, the Department of Defense must be ready for an order from the
commander in chief to act.”
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