U.S. Transportation Command outlines cyber strategy
- By Sean D. Carberry
- Sep 23, 2016
The U.S. Transportation Command has released a new strategic document that includes advancing cyber domain capabilities as one of its four command priorities.
The document states: "Challenges to our unfettered use of maritime, space, error and cyber domains in the global commons threaten the world's economy and our nation's ability to protect and sustain global power and influence. We continue to defend against increasing attempts to degrade our cyber security and command, control and communications systems."
In his preface to the strategy, TRANSCOM Commander and Air Force Gen. Darren McDew said that future conflicts will cross regional boundaries and adversaries could field "numerically superior forces with near technological parity. In such an environment, we can expect congested strategic lines of communication, the likes of which we have not faced since World War II. Additionally, I expect our enemies will attempt to use our interconnectedness in the cyber domain against us."
The strategic document is long on principles and short on details. It seeks to "advance a principle-based, forward looking cyberspace framework" in cybersecurity, improving resiliency and response capabilities, developing solutions to "emerging challenges" and spurring the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, which TRANSCOM supports, to "improve and integrate cyberspace capabilities."
"While the command strategy provides my overarching guidance, every [command] member must interpret the concepts and apply them with their own initiative," said McDew in his preamble.
TRANSCOM came under fire from lawmakers in 2014, in the wake of a critical Senate report that found Chinese hackers had breached the networks of the command's contractors more than 20 times in the space of a year. Commanders were aware of only two of the 20 breaches, according to the report.
In a 2015 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McDew told members, "I am beginning to understand the vastness of the [TRANSCOM] network."
Sean Carberry is a former FCW staff writer who focused on defense, cybersecurity and intelligence.