DOD Releases First Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 — The Defense Department’s first strat­e­gy for oper­at­ing in cyber­space is a mile­stone in the fight to pro­tect the nation from poten­tial­ly dev­as­tat­ing net­work attacks, Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III said today.
Lynn addressed an audi­ence of mil­i­tary and civil­ian offi­cials, edu­ca­tors and reporters at the Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty.

“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,” Lynn said. 

“But the cen­tral­i­ty of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy to our mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and our soci­ety vir­tu­al­ly guar­an­tees that future adver­saries will tar­get our depen­dence on it,” he added. 

“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 deputy sec­re­tary said. 

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, Lynn said. 

“As a result of this threat,” he added, “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.” 

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. 

“Over the past year,” Lynn said, “we have made progress in each of these five pillars.” 

In May 2010, U.S. Cyber Com­mand became oper­a­tional to cen­tral­ize net­work oper­a­tions and defense. 

“We have estab­lished sup­port­ing activ­i­ties in each of the mil­i­tary ser­vices,” Lynn said, “and we are now train­ing our forces to thwart attacks that com­pro­mise our oper­a­tions.” The Unit­ed States part­nered with Aus­tralia, Cana­da, the Unit­ed King­dom and NATO, and under Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Com­pre­hen­sive Nation­al Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Ini­tia­tive, launched in May, the Defense Depart­ment will increase coop­er­a­tion with oth­er nations in the com­ing months, he added. 

“We have also com­mit­ted half a bil­lion dol­lars in [research and devel­op­ment] funds to accel­er­ate research on advanced defen­sive tech­nolo­gies,” the deputy sec­re­tary said. “Our research agen­da includes nov­el approach­es to improv­ing net­work secu­ri­ty and defense,” he said. 

“We imag­ine a time when com­put­ers innate­ly and auto­mat­i­cal­ly adapt to new threats,” he said. “We hope for a world when we can not only trans­mit infor­ma­tion in encrypt­ed form, but also keep data encrypt­ed as we per­form reg­u­lar com­put­er oper­a­tions. Hav­ing data encrypt­ed 100% of the time would be a rev­o­lu­tion in com­put­er secu­ri­ty, great­ly enhanc­ing our abil­i­ty to oper­ate in untrust­ed environments.” 

The Defense Depart­ment has made “sub­stan­tial progress,” Lynn said, in work­ing with pri­vate indus­try and the rest of gov­ern­ment to make crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture more secure. 

Last Octo­ber, the Depart­ments of Defense and Home­land Secu­ri­ty, which is respon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, signed an agree­ment to coor­di­nate cyber secu­ri­ty efforts. 

The agen­cies estab­lished a joint plan­ning capa­bil­i­ty and exchanged cyber per­son­nel in their oper­a­tions cen­ters, he said. 

DOD is help­ing Home­land Secu­ri­ty deploy advanced defen­sive tech­nolo­gies on gov­ern­ment net­works, Lynn said. 

The crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture the mil­i­tary depends on extends to pri­vate com­pa­nies that build DOD’s equip­ment and tech­nol­o­gy, he added. 

“It is a sig­nif­i­cant con­cern that over the past decade, ter­abytes of data have been extract­ed by for­eign intrud­ers from cor­po­rate net­works of defense com­pa­nies,” Lynn said. “In a sin­gle intru­sion this March, 24,000 files were taken.” 

The stolen data ranges from spec­i­fi­ca­tions for small parts of tanks, air­planes and sub­marines to air­craft avion­ics, sur­veil­lance tech­nolo­gies, satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems and net­work secu­ri­ty protocols. 

“Cur­rent coun­ter­mea­sures have not stopped this out­flow of sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion,” the deputy sec­re­tary said. “We need to do more to guard our dig­i­tal store­hous­es of design innovation.” 

In response, he said, the Depart­ments of Defense and Home­land Secu­ri­ty estab­lished a pilot pro­gram with a hand­ful of defense com­pa­nies that gives the com­pa­nies robust pro­tec­tion for their networks. 

“In this Defense Indus­tri­al Base — or DIB — Cyber Pilot,” Lynn said, “clas­si­fied threat intel­li­gence is shared with defense con­trac­tors or their com­mer­cial Inter­net ser­vice providers, along with the know-how to employ it in net­work defense.” 

Such intel­li­gence helps the com­pa­nies and their Inter­net ser­vice providers iden­ti­fy and stop mali­cious activ­i­ty in their net­works, he said. 

“Although we are only begin­ning to eval­u­ate the effec­tive­ness of the pilot,” Lynn said, “it has already stopped intru­sions for some par­tic­i­pat­ing indus­try partners.” 

Through infor­ma­tion shar­ing pro­mot­ed by the pro­gram, he added, “we not only halt­ed intru­sions, we also learned more about the diver­si­ty of tech­niques used to per­pe­trate them.” 

The Unit­ed States stands at an impor­tant junc­ture in the devel­op­ment of the cyber threat, Lynn said. 

“More destruc­tive tools are being devel­oped, but have not yet been wide­ly used,” he added. 

The Defense Depart­ment needs to devel­op stronger defens­es, the deputy sec­re­tary said, before those who mean harm to the Unit­ed States gain the abil­i­ty to launch more dam­ag­ing cyber attacks. 

“We have a win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty,” he added, ” … in which to pro­tect our net­works against more per­ilous threats.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →