John T. Bennett
The Hill 
July 16, 2011
The Pentagon released a long-promised cybersecurity plan Thursday that declares the Internet a domain of war.
The plan notably does not spell out how the US military would use the Web for offensive strikes, however.
The Defense Department’s first-ever plan for cyberspace calls on the department to expand its ability to thwart attacks from other nations and groups, beef up its cyber-workforce and expand collaboration with the private sector.
Like major corporations and the rest of the federal government, the military “depends on cyberspace to function,” the DoD plan says. The US military uses cyberspace for everything from carrying out military operations to sharing intelligence data internally to managing personnel.
“The department and the nation have vulnerabilities in cyberspace,” the document states. “Our reliance on cyberspace stands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cybersecurity.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Other nations “are working to exploit DoD unclassified and classified networks, and some foreign intelligence organizations have already acquired the capacity to disrupt elements of DoD’s information infrastructure,” the plan states. “Moreover, non-state actors increasingly threaten to penetrate and disrupt DoD networks and systems.”
Groups are capable of this largely because “small-scale technologies” that have “an impact disproportionate to their size” are relatively inexpensive and readily available.
The Pentagon plans to focus heavily on three areas under the new strategy: the theft or exploitation of data; attempts to deny or disrupt access to US military networks; and attempts to “destroy or degrade networks or connected systems.”
One problem highlighted in the strategy is a baked-in threat: “The majority of information technology products used in the United States are manufactured and assembled overseas.”
DoD laid out a multi-pronged approach to address those issues.