The Department of Defense unveiled its cyber strategy yesterday in a press conference at the National Defense University. The strategy outlined five strategic initiatives for operating in the cyber domain, described as a roadmap for navigating the challenges posed by cyberspace.

The strategy noted that national security has been redefined by cyber threats, with the core functions of the Defense Department relying on “mission success” in the cyber domain. Rather than simply seeing cyberspace as a challenge or threat, however, the Defense Department also noted the opportunities posed, in both building partnerships and capabilities.

The strategy laid special emphasis on the need to attract and retain the most qualified, highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and that DoD will assess its cyber workforce on a regular basis to ensure they have the necessary skills and capabilities. Federal reforms to speed the hiring process were highlighted.

“The demand for new cyber personnel is high, commensurate with the severity of cyber threats,” the strategy noted. “DoD must make itself competitive if it is to attract technically skilled personnel to join government service for the long-term.”

In order to accomplish this the strategy focused on attracting talent early, with programs designed to encourage young people to pursue federal government careers in cyber security, as well as the establishment of cross-generational mentoring programs.

The strategic initiatives are:

  • Strategic Initiative 1: Treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train, and equip so that DoD can take full advantage of cyberspace’s potential
  • Strategic Initiative 2: Employ new defense operating concepts to protect DoD networks and systems
  • Strategic Initiative 3: Partner with other U.S. government departments and agencies and the private sector to enable a whole-of-government cybersecurity strategy
  • Strategic Initiative 4: Build robust relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen collective cybersecurity
  • Strategic Initiative 5: Leverage the nation’s ingenuity through an exceptional cyber workforce and rapid technological innovation



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