Pentagon works to update cyberspace operation strategy

Two years ago, the Defense Department released its first strategy outlining cyberspace operations. Now officials are hard at work on an updated version to sustain progress.

Maj. Gen. John A. Davis, senior military advisor for cyber to the undersecretary of defense for policy, disclosed to an audience at the Armed Forced Communications and Electronics Association International Cyber Symposium last week that while the process has been difficult and complex, “we have made some really good progress under each of these strategy components.”

The components Maj. Gen. Davis spoke of fall under the cyber initiative group strategy, which focuses on multilevel, holistic collaboration between the DOD and other federal agencies, the private sector and international allies. “It’s a process that includes engagement at all levels, from the action-officer level all the way to senior defense leadership,” he added. Over the past two years, DOD has successfully established joint cyber centers at each combatant command, developed a plan for the Joint Information Environment network architecture and implemented a military-orders process for cyber actions, among other activities.

Maj. Gen. Davis continued to say that while the DOD is refining its role in cyberspace defense, it has prepared three missions that will be operating around the clock. A national mission will counter adversary cyberattacks, while a second and larger mission will support combat commanders to execute military missions alongside traditional capabilities. Lastly, the largest mission will defend the networks that support worldwide military operations.

“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 attack” he said.  

Defense Systems Update

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