What with all of today's many pressures -- the job, the kids, traffic snarls, political strife at home and abroad -- you may have caught yourself recently and wondered: Oh no! What are the five pillars of DoD's new cyber strategy again? Never fear: Now there's a dedicated website where you can quickly find that and many other types of information. DoD's new site, www.defense.gov/cyber, went live on Monday as a public service.
Per the official announcement:
The website is a tool to help explain and consolidate DoD's cybersecurity accomplishments and new way forward for military, intelligence and business operations in cyberspace.It also provides a convenient home for the full strategy itself, which is available as a full-color pdf.
The new website is designed to help users explore the five pillars of DoD's cyber strategy: treating cyberspace as an operational domain; employing new defense operating concepts; partnering with the public and private sector; building international partnerships; and leveraging talent and innovation. Additional content includes links to cybersecurity jobs in government, key news items, press releases, and video of discussions on cybersecurity.
Still missing, however, is any discussion of America's offensive cyber-capabilities, or any indication the U.S. government is anything but a helpless victim of international cyber-skullduggery. Nobody would expect the Pentagon to say, "Hey, you'll never guess what we pulled off Vladimir Putin's email last week," but the messaging from across the U.S. government has consistently included total silence on U.S. cyber-snooping or cyber attacking.
Is that wise? Take a look at David Martin's CBS News report about DoD's cyber-victimization -- which DoD links to from its new website. Martin paints an embarrassing picture of the Pentagon's network capabilities, reeling off the plans, documents and other military secrets that officials admit have been swiped by foreign hackers. At one point, Deputy DoD Secretary Bill Lynn tells Martin "a foreign intelligence agency" snooped around CentCom's network for "a matter of months." If this is the kind of thing the Pentagon is willing to volunteer on national TV, just imagine what it might find embarrassing!
What's puzzling is that the "poor us" messaging so far doesn't have a predicate. When the Coast Guard wants more money each year at budget time, it compiles some photos showing how badly its ships are degenerating, then takes them up to the Hill. But the Pentagon's admissions of cyber-victimhood aren't accompanied by requests for more money, or for Congress to pass a National Getting Tough On Cyber Act. DoD wants us to know it has a cyber-strategy -- OK, fine, got it. But what many Americans might also like is some kind of reassurance, even a vague Special Operations Command-style wink and a "Trust us. We take care of stuff."
Is DoD, or the National Security Agency, or CIA -- or anybody -- taking it to the other guys as much as we're apparently getting it here at home?