World / US and Canada

Pentagon to release new strategy to bolster cyber security

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-15 15:27

WASHINGTON -- The US Defense Department will release a new cyber strategy next week to "guide the way forward for the next several years in cyber," a senior Pentagon official said Tuesday.

Testifying at a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Eric Rosenbach, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, outlined the Pentagon plan to improve the US cybersecurity posture.

Rosenbach said defending Pentagon's networks is the most important cyber mission, because it is "very network-reliant and network-centric" as it has the largest enterprise network in the world, and all military operations depend on that network.

Secondly, the Defense Department needs to defend the country against significant cyberattacks, which account for about only 2 percent of all attacks, Rosenbach added.

Finally, the Defense Department wants to provide full-spectrum cyber options to the president or the defense secretary in cases that would be advantageous to national interests.

In light of the evolving nature of the threat of cyber attacks, the Pentagon is committed to a "comprehensive, whole-of-government cyber strategy" to deter cyber attacks, Rosenbach said.

He said the Pentagon will play three specific roles within the US government from a deterrent perspective: First, it needs to develop capabilities to deny a potential attack from achieving its desired effect; Second, it must increase the cost of executing a cyberattack and must be able to provide the president with options to respond to cyberattacks through cyber and other means including foreign policy tools and military options; Third, it will ensure resilience so the cyber infrastructure can bounce back from an attack.

In order to achieve its goals, the Pentagon has made a "conscious decision" to invest in capabilities and build a cyber mission force composed of 133 teams, Rosenbach said.

He said the US has built robust intelligence and will try to reduce the anonymity of cyberspace so as to be able to identify the attackers. "These attribution capabilities have increased significantly in recent years," he said, "and we continue to work closely with intelligence and law enforcement to improve this."

One of the top priorities for Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is building a cadre of cyber experts in the department and ensuring it has new "tunnels" for recruiting talents.

Moreover, the Pentagon is trying to build strong partnerships with the private sector and other government agencies, allies and partners to bolster its cyber capabilities.

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