The Defense Department finally released its white paper on cybersecurity on Thursday, and it does not treat the notion of online warfare lightly. That's understandable given a recent rash of attacks against the Pentagon and military contractors. When discussing the plan with the press, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III revealed that 24,000 sensitive Pentagon files were stolen by "foreign intruders" in March, one of the worst cyber assaults in history. But that's not all. Lynn says these kinds of attacks have been happening for years.
"It is a significant concern that over the past decade, terabytes of data have been extracted by foreign intruders from corporate networks of defense companies," Lynn said, explaining how attacks target "our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems, and network security protocols."
The report itself divides that Defense Department plan into five strategic initiatives that emphasize defensive strategies rather than combative tactics. It calls on the Pentagon to "treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train, and equip" Defense Department workers and innovate upon its idea of defense. In doing so, the Defense Department will "partner with other U.S. government departments and agencies and the private sector" as well as "build robust relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen collective cybersecurity." There's even a NASA-style coda that says we should "leverage the nation's ingenuity through an exceptional cyber workforce and rapid technological innovation."