Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

Along with the rest of the U.S. government, the Department of Defense (DoD) depends oncyberspace to function. It is difficult to overstate this reliance; DoD operates over 15,000networks and seven million computing devices across hundreds of installations in dozens ofcountries around the globe. DoD uses cyberspace to enable its military, intelligence, andbusiness operations, including the movement of personnel and material and the command andcontrol of the full spectrum of military operations.The Department and the nation have vulnerabilities in cyberspace. Our reliance on cyberspacestands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cybersecurity – the security of the technologiesthat we use each day. Moreover, the continuing growth of networked systems, devices, andplatforms means that cyberspace is embedded into an increasing number of capabilities uponwhich DoD relies to complete its mission. Today, many foreign nations are working to exploitDoD unclassified and classified networks, and some foreign intelligence organizations havealready acquired the capacity to disrupt elements of DoD’s information infrastructure.Moreover, non-state actors increasingly threaten to penetrate and disrupt DoD networks andsystems. We recognize that there may be malicious activities on DoD networks and systems thatwe have not yet detected.DoD, working with its interagency and international partners, seeks to mitigate the risks posed toU.S. and allied cyberspace capabilities, while protecting and respecting the principles of privacyand civil liberties, free expression, and innovation that have made cyberspace an integral part ofU.S. prosperity and security. How the Department leverages the opportunities of cyberspace,while managing inherent uncertainties and reducing vulnerabilities, will significantly impactU.S. defensive readiness and national security for years to come.

Author: U.S. Department of Defense

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