The US Department of Defense (DoD) has unveiled a new strategy to strengthen its cyber defences and posture on cyber deterrence.
The new policy aims to guide the development of DoD's cyber forces and describes the department's contributions to a broader national set of capabilities to deter adversaries from conducting cyberattacks.
As part of the strategy The DoD has added three new missions in the cyber domain.
The missions will focus on defending DoD networks, systems and information, protecting the homeland and national interests against cyberattacks, while also providing integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter: "We like to deter malicious action before it happens and we like to be able to defend against incoming attacks, as well as pinpoint where an attack came from.
"Still, adversaries should know that our preference for deterrence and our defensive posture don't diminish our willingness to use cyber options if necessary."
The Pentagon aims to use the combination of US actions including declaratory policy, substantial indications and warning capabilities, defensive posture, response procedures and resilient US networks and systems to deter cyberattacks on the national interests.
In addition to building and training Cyber Mission Forces and increasing readiness to defend DoD information networks, the strategy urges the DoD to strengthen network defence command and control, as well as conducting exercises in resilience so as to remain capable of mobilising, deploying and operating forces in all other domains, even if a cyberattack degrades its capabilities.
The DoD also plans to work closely with law-enforcement partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and with the Department of Homeland Security to help ensure that its cyber operations are appropriate and effective.
Image: US Defence Secretary Ash Carter delivers a lecture at Stanford University in California. Photo: courtesy of DoD.