DISA five-year plan treats cyber as warring domain

Defense

DISA five-year plan treats cyber as warring domain

The Defense Information Systems Agency has released a five-year strategy that calls on Defense Department personnel to treat cyberspace like a war-fighting domain by enabling maneuvering on DOD networks.  

“We will execute synchronized [DOD information network] command, operations and cyber defense missions to ensure freedom of maneuver for the war-fighter and mission partners,” the document states.

“We’re waking up to realizing that there is a lot more that needs to be protected, there [are] a lot of better ways that we need to protect” DOD assets, said DISA Director Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins. The department intends to “employ our principles of war – whether it is maneuver, speed [or] surprise” – in cyberspace, added Hawkins, who spoke June 16 at an AFCEA conference in Baltimore.

The plan outlines general goals for the agency, including cutting costs by getting rid of “duplication in production and operations,” and delivering IT services through commercial and DISA-managed cloud services. The document is short on specifics for carrying out the goals. Those details may come via a separate “strategic roadmap” that DISA is planning to release in October.

The plan also includes a list of six technological areas that are “the most critical for DISA to understand, acquire and evolve over the next five years.” Those six areas are:

DISA officials said on June 16 that Army Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, the agency’s vice director, will replace Hawkins as director sometime this summer. Hawkins announced in January that he would retire.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Follow him on Twitter: @snlyngaas

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