Inside DOD

By Amber Corrin

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Amber Corrin

DOD to announce cyber strategy: What to expect

The Defense Department is gearing up to release an unclassified version of its first overarching strategy for cyberspace operations.

The official announcement of the Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace will come the afternoon of July 14 from outgoing Deputy Secretary William Lynn, who will speak at the campus of the National Defense University in Washington. Lynn is expected to outline the strategy and answer press questions.

However, published reports indicate the public likely won’t be getting a meaty description of DOD operations in cyberspace. In the past, Lynn and other DOD officials have warned of the dangers of cyberattacks, but little has been said publicly about how the department defends against such attacks or how it runs offense against adversaries.

In the past, Lynn has spoken about the nascent cyber strategy. On the circuit at various conferences, he has acknowledged the lack of cohesive governance as a critical issue.

“Until recently, the military’s cyber effort was run by a loose confederation of joint task forces spread too far and too wide, both geographically and institutionally, to be fully effective,” he said in May 2010 at a U.S. Strategic Command Cyber Symposium in Omaha, Neb.

According to Stars and Stripes, at the RSA conference in San Francisco in February, Lynn said the DOD strategy will hinge on active defense systems, planning and coordination with the Homeland Security Department and a strong public-private partnership – comments that echo what Lynn has said at other speaking engagements.

Still, expect the bulk of the juicy details of DOD’s cyber arsenal to be absent from the unclassified release.

“The unclassified version, you will find, follows much of what was in the administration’s [international cyber strategy released in May],” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan told reporters at the Pentagon July 11, per Stars and Stripes. “This isn’t about acts of war – this is about an overall cyber strategy, and how we defend ourselves against cyber threats.”

Even if it is a watered-down version that is released to the public, it sets the stage for discussions set to take place in coming days in Washington. The July 15 AFCEA Cybersecurity Summit will have several DOD officials on tap, discussing network security, the U.S. Cyber Command and related issues.

At 1105 Media’s upcoming FOSE conference July 19-21, several different aspects of cybersecurity will be discussed by an array of high-level government officials and industry insiders. 1105 Media is the parent company of Federal Computer Week and Defense Systems, which publish the Inside DOD blog.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:03 AM


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