Since the Defense Department officially made cyberspace a new domain of warfare in 2011, experts in the public and private sectors have been working to make that inherently collaborative, adaptable environment a suitable place for military command and control.
In July of that year, the first initiative of the first DOD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace called for treating cyberspace as an operational domain — no different from air, land, sea or space — to organize, train and equip so the department could take full advantage of cyber potential.
Cyberspace is defined as a collection of computer networks that use a variety of wired and wireless connections, a multitude of protocols, and devices ranging from supercomputers to laptops to embedded computer systems designed for specific control functions in larger systems.
At the 4th Annual Cyber Security Conference, Air Force Maj. Gen. Brett T. Williams, director of operations at U.S. Cyber Command, described how Cybercom is using the Internet and other aspects of the cyber environment to execute its mission.
“The challenge we have is that the Internet was never designed for military command and control, … yet we’ve adapted it to do that,” he said.
In the process, the general added, officials have tried to define the Cybercom mission more clearly over the last few months.