U.S. Army cyber forces to get new rules of engagement

“We now live in a world of weaponized bits and bytes, where an entire country can be disrupted by the click of mouse. There are new missions we must take on as a military, and steps we must take as a nation, to defend ourselves from this threat,” U.S. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated in a speech at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

“Strengthening cyber defenses on military systems is critically important, but it isn’t enough to defend the nation. In cyber conflict, civilian infrastructure and businesses are often targeted first,” he pointed out, and laid out the changes that the Department of Defense’s means to effect in order to be able to respond to these threats.

The plan includes the integrating the cyber mission across the Army, and taking on some 4,000 additional cyber operators for the U.S. Cyber Command over the next four years.

“At Cyber Command, three kinds of teams will operate around-the-clock. National mission teams will counter adversary cyber attacks on our country. A second larger set of teams will support combatant commanders as they execute military missions. The largest set of teams will operate and defend the networks that support military operations worldwide,” he explained, adding that the Department first priority is keeping the .mil domain secure.

Integrating the Department’s 15,000 networks into a common set of enterprise cloud-based services is also planned, as well as the creation of a secure 4G wireless network for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices and a federated app store to be used by the employees.

The Department will also be updating for the first time in seven years its rules of engagement for its cyber forces.

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