Pentagon To Bolster American Defence Industry Cybersecurity
July 18, 2024
Cybersecurity Defence & Security

Pentagon Moves To Bolster American Defence Industry Cybersecurity

Following Escalating Cyber Threats

The Pentagon has unveiled its inaugural strategy to fortify cybersecurity among American defence industry stakeholders, a crucial step in the face of escalating cyber threats that underscores the immediate need for collaboration.

The Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy charts a course for intensified cooperation between the US Defense Department and the US defence industrial base, as officials warn of persistent cyber risks.

David McKeown, DOD’s deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity, underscored the strategic significance of safeguarding the Defense Industrial Base (DIB).

He said: “Our adversaries understand the strategic value of targeting the DIB.” McKeown noted that both adversaries and nonstate actors pose threats to DIB contractors. McKeown stressed the necessity of collaborative efforts to protect critical information from unauthorised disclosure.

David McKeown, DOD’s deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity, and Stacy Bostjanick, DOD’s chief of defence industrial base cybersecurity, jointly unveiled the strategy at the Pentagon, highlighting its comprehensive approach to addressing evolving cyber challenges.

Bostjanick described the strategy as a “well-contemplated, multifaceted, agile, and nuanced response” to the persistent threat of malicious cyber activity.

DOD’s Vision

The strategy delineates DOD’s vision for a secure, resilient, and technologically superior U.S. defence industrial base over the next three years, aligning with broader national security objectives. It delineates four key goals:

  1. Strengthening DOD’s governance structure for US defence industrial base cybersecurity.
  2. Enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the US defence industrial base.
  3. Preserving the resiliency of critical defence industrial base capabilities in a cyber-contested environment.
  4. Improving cybersecurity collaboration between the DOD and the US defence industrial base.

The strategy’s key initiatives include bolstering interagency collaboration, evaluating compliance with cybersecurity requirements, enhancing threat intelligence sharing with industry partners, and prioritising cyber resiliency among critical defence production capabilities. These are crucial steps in fortifying the defence industrial base’s cybersecurity.

The strategy reflects alignment with prior national security frameworks, including the 2022 National Defense Strategy and the 2023 National Cybersecurity Strategy, while responding to the imperative outlined in the 2023 strategy to ensure the reliability and integrity of production nodes for critical weapons systems.

Moreover, the release of the cybersecurity strategy signifies a continuation of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernise and fortify the defence industrial base.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon issued the National Defense Industrial Strategy, focusing on resilient supply chains, workforce readiness, flexible acquisition, and economic deterrence.

US Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks emphasised the collaborative nature of the strategy, highlighting its potential to bolster the cybersecurity of DIB partners and enhance overall national security resilience.

“As our adversaries continuously seek information about US capabilities, the department, in coordination with the DIB, must remain resilient against these attacks and succeed through teamwork to defend the nation,” Hicks stated in a released statement accompanying the strategy.

The release of the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy marks a significant step in fortifying America’s cyber defences against evolving threats. It underlines the critical importance of collaboration between government and industry stakeholders.

Featured image: US Cyber Command members work in the Integrated Cyber Center, Joint Operations Center at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Credit: US Department of Defense

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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