New U.S. Cyber Defence

The DoD in the U.S. is introducing a new ‘Cyber Unit.’ The new department will not only aim to defend against incoming attacks but will also conduct online military skirmishes.

Cyber security is now a major priority and online terrorists are being viewed as very likely future threats to national security. In effect the online battlefield will be treated the same as the traditional domains of land, sea and air.

One of the major points which came across in the new approach was the emphasis which was placed on international relations and the U.S. Department of Defence said it was calling for “collective self-defence.” A 13 page document went into great detail and highlighted that everyone within all countries and states would have to work collectively in order to uphold an effective defence.

During the outline of the new strategy William Lynn, Deputy Defence Secretary admitted that administration had fallen victim to one of the largest attacks ever in March and foreign criminals had stolen 24,000 confidential documents from a contractor network.

Furthermore the U.S. has to fight off millions of attacks each day across 15,000 networks and 7 million computers.

“The cyber threats we face are urgent, sometimes uncertain and potentially devastating as adversaries constantly search for vulnerabilities” said Lynn.

The new network defences will include sensors, software and signatures to detect and detain malicious code.  Additional measures will include new hygiene standards which are set to stop confidential data being accidentally leaked.

“Some of these things have been written about for years,” claimed Rich Mogull an analyst at Securosis. Perhaps the recent data leak was just the spur then, required for the DoD to make a move.

“Our strategy’s overriding emphasis is on denying the benefit of an attack. Rather than rely on the threat of retaliation alone to deter attacks in cyberspace, we aim to change our adversaries’ incentives in a more fundamental way. If an attack will not have its intended effect, those who wish harm will have less reason to target us through cyberspace in the first place” said Lynn.

Today cyber attacks have to be taken seriously and will make up a significant component of future conflict. As Lynn states “In the 21st century, bits and bytes can be as threatening as bullets and bombs.”





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