This paradigm has enabled adversaries of the U.S. to sidestep the military supremacy of the U.S and conduct asymmetric cyber-attacks against the less secured private sector of America. Adopting this approach nullifies the ability of the U.S. to respond militarily as there is no definitive redline that an adversary cannot cross in which military action would be warranted. As a result of this nexus, the private and public networked sectors have become the new front line of twenty-first century warfare (Adams, 2001). As the U.S. entered into the twenty-first century, it became clear that the lack of a U.S. cyber strategy would only exacerbate the persistent threats to the private sector, the nervous system of the U.S. economy, and the threat it presented to the information technologies that have defined contemporary U.S. military supremacy.
As stated previously, modern infrastructure is so interdependent on information technologies that it has become a defining characteristic of contemporary life and arguably the nervous system of both the U.S. economy and military. The rate in which cyberspace has invaded virtually every aspect of daily life has been extraordinary. From 2000 to 2010, global internet usage increased from 360 million to over 2 billion people (QDR, 2010). This rate of expansion has largely outpaced the rate of much needed cybersecurity efforts. This disparity initially created a large gap between the United States’ level of dependency on cyberspace or information technologies and its level of cybersecurity. As a result, foreign nations and non-state actors have worked persistently to exploit this capabilities gap by attempting and sometimes gaining access to both classified and unclassified networks, to include the Department of Defense (DOD) networks.
Comparative to civilian growth in cyber dependency the United States’ DOD has also found itself completely dependent on cyber technologies as well. DOD currently operates over 15,000 networks and seven million computing devices across hundreds of installations in multiple global locals (DOD, 2011). Similar to cyberspace operating as the nervous system of the U.S. economy it has also become the nervous system of the U.S. military. The U.S. military employs cyberspace as a force multiplier by using it to enable intelligence gathering, command and control, communications, personnel management and numerous day to day operations (DOD, 2011). Consequently, the same vulnerabilities and threats that challenge the private sector are especially dangerous and potentially more harmful at the governmental level.
These domestic and national threats emphasize the vital importance of a secure and dependable cyberspace. The DOD has recognized this need and by capitalizing on its commitment to national security, has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its strength in cyberspace. The same technological advancements that have revolutionized military capabilities, have provided the DOD a unique skill...