Soldiers and airmen monitor network traffic for malicious intrusion May 18, 2018, at Cyber Shield 18, a two-week-long exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden)

DoD Cyber Strategy: U.S. ‘Cannot Afford Inaction’ as Danger Increases

The United States’ strategic competitors are conducting cyber-enabled campaigns to erode U.S. military advantages, threaten our infrastructure, and reduce our economic prosperity. The Department must respond to these activities by exposing, disrupting, and degrading cyber activity threatening U.S. interests, strengthening the cybersecurity and resilience of key potential targets, and working closely with other departments and agencies, as well as with our allies and partners.

First, we must ensure the U.S. military’s ability to fight and win wars in any domain, including cyberspace. This is a foundational requirement for U.S. national security and a key to ensuring that we deter aggression, including cyber attacks that constitute a use of force, against the United States, our allies, and our partners. The Department must defend its own networks, systems, and information from malicious cyber activity and be prepared to defend, when directed, those networks and systems operated by non-DoD Defense Critical Infrastructure (DCI)1 and Defense Industrial Base (DIB)2 entities. We will defend forward to halt or degrade cyberspace operations targeting the Department, and we will collaborate to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of DoD, DCI, and DIB networks and systems.

Second, the Department seeks to preempt, defeat, or deter malicious cyber activity targeting U.S. critical infrastructure that could cause a significant cyber incident regardless of whether that incident would impact DoD’s warfighting readiness or capability. Our primary role in this homeland defense mission is to defend forward by leveraging our focus outward to stop threats before they reach their targets. The Department also provides public and private sector partners with indications and warning (I&W) of malicious cyber activity, in coordination with other Federal departments and agencies.

Third, the Department will work with U.S. allies and partners to strengthen cyber capacity, expand combined cyberspace operations, and increase bi-directional information sharing in order to advance our mutual interests.

Read the Defense Department’s Cyber Strategy summary

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