US DoD unveils key points from 2023 Cyber Strategy

Integrated deterrence, lessons from the Ukraine war and strengthening partnerships are at the core of the document.

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The Department of Defense (DoD) has presented the classified 2023 DoD Cyber Strategy to Congress. Although the full 2023 DoD Cyber Strategy has not been disclosed to the public, a fact sheet summarising the key points has been released.

The Strategy is informed by the cyberspace operations the Department of Defense has been actively engaging in since 2018 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, demonstrating how cyber capabilities may be used in a large-scale conventional conflict.

DoD combines cyber operations with other national instruments of power to effectively deter adversaries for an integrated deterrence approach. It employs proactive measures below the threshold of traditional warfare to reinforce deterrence and frustrate adversaries. The adversaries in the factsheet are China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, violent extremist organisations and international criminal organisations.

The DoD’s approach to addressing cyber threats includes four key points. First, they will defend the nation by conducting cyberspace campaigns, actively defending against threats, and disrupting adversaries’ capabilities. Second, they will prepare for and win national wars by prioritising cybersecurity, investing in cyber resilience, and using cyberspace operations to gain advantages. Third, they will protect the cyber domain with allies and partners by assisting them in building capacity, conducting hunt-forward operations, and promoting responsible behaviour. Lastly, they will build enduring advantages by optimising cyber forces, investing in enablers like intelligence and technology, and cultivating a robust cyberculture.

The fact sheet also acknowledged that the US’ extensive network of global allies and partners requires protection and strengthening as it represents a fundamental advantage in cybersecurity.