Cybersecurity Challenges in a Net-centric World
Transition to net-centricity encourages users throughout the Department of Defense to share information, but it also introduces cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Recognizing, understanding, and addressing these vulnerabilities are essential to successful transition.
As the pace and scope of decisions in the battlespace accelerate, the military increasingly depends on information and information sharing to support improved military situational awareness, offer better access to mission information, and shorten decision-making cycles. Coupled with increasing budget pressures, this urgent need for timely and accurate information by decision makers and warfighters has led to a transformation in DOD’s concept of operations for conducting its missions, which affects its procedures for acquiring, deploying, and coordinating capabilities. The transformation enables users to more effectively exploit information, more efficiently use resources, and more easily create extended, collaborative mission-oriented communities.
DOD’s approach to achieve this transformation is called net-centricity, securely connecting people and systems independent of time or location. DOD has written a number of strategies, directives, and instructions defining the net-centric approach and establishing policies and responsibilities for its implementation.
The data strategy at the heart of DOD’s net-centric approach requires trusted data to be made visible, accessible, and understandable to any potential user in DOD, including unanticipated but authorized users. Data is to be made visible by creating and associating metadata (descriptive “tagging”), accessible by making it available in “shared spaces” in accordance with Global Information Grid guidance, and understandable by publishing associated metadata in a federated DOD metadata registry. The DOD approach recognizes that cultural barriers to trust and data sharing must be addressed to effect operational change.