Warfare on the New Battlefield: The Internet

With more than 8,000 separate defense contractors, how long will it be before nation states around the globe make a concerted effort to infiltrate and gain access to vital information that could affect our national security? According to U.S. government officials, our nation is already under attack, mostly from entities in China.

Defense initiatives are currently geared toward the defense sector only, but that could change, according to www.nationaldefensemagazine.org. Other sectors, such as privately owned businesses, could base their own cybersecurity efforts off of the model presented by the U.S. Defense Department. Current plans include giving commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) access to security programs as part of the Defense Industrial Base Enhanced Cyber Security Services program, allowing the ISPs to develop and offer these security tools to participating defense contractors as part of a pay-for-use service.

Another program is the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Security/Information Assurance program. Through this program, defense contractors and the Defense Department share information about current or upcoming perceived threats. Many experts feel that the more companies share their knowledge about these threats, the safer the overall security for each company is. Defense Department officials would like to see the number of participating contractors increase to 1,000 from the three dozen that originally started the program.

As it stands, until an international treaty can be developed that would prohibit the use of cyber espionage between nations, little can be done to stem the tide of current attacks against U.S. defense contractors. This is an even greater area of concern for the private sector, where there is no access to the latest in cybersecurity measures.

The U.S. Department of Defense, the defense contactors who work for them, and eventually the private sector must work together to fight against cyber attack both from within our own borders and abroad.

For more information about cyber threats from China and others, visit: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2012/July/Pages/USGovernmentAttemptstoThwart