Info Environment: Possibilities and Threats to DOD’s Nationwide Stability Mission

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Info Environment: Possibilities and Threats to DOD’s Nationwide Stability Mission

What GAO Located

Offered the ubiquitous nature of the info natural environment, the two DOD and adversaries can perform operations and actions in the data natural environment from anywhere in the environment. Furthermore, with DOD capabilities dependent on IT and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), its means to perform functions and pursuits in any of the physical domains (land, maritime, air, and room) is reliant on shielding the facts ecosystem. Dependent on a evaluate of DOD methods, questionnaires, interviews, and assistance paperwork, GAO uncovered:

Ubiquitous and Malign Information and facts. The fusion of ubiquitous information and facts and technologies has granted individuals, businesses, and nation-states the skill to concentrate on the cognitive foundations of individuals—beliefs, feelings, and experiences—for purposes either benign or malign. The proliferation of ubiquitous details, misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation has prompted protection authorities to start off inspecting the concept of cognitive protection.

Romantic relationship involving Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation

DOD Missions and Features. Technological know-how, the EMS, and the sharing of data are integral to accomplishing DOD’s missions in the information and facts natural environment. DOD elements persistently discovered the perform of armed forces functions, communications, command and regulate selection-generating, and other folks, as missions and capabilities influenced by the info surroundings.

Menace Actors. Nationwide and DOD strategies realize that nation-states—such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea—have shown that they are danger actors in the details atmosphere, using destructive cyber, EMS, and impact things to do against DOD pursuits. Also, nonstate actors—such as insider threats, international terrorists, transnational legal companies, and others—pose a threat to DOD personnel at home and overseas.

Menace Actions. DOD factors highlighted a assortment of cyberspace threats, info or intelligence selection threats, impact threats, and EMS threats that adversely affect DOD staff and abilities (see determine below).

Institutional Problems. National and DOD strategies and documents determine a selection of institutional challenges that DOD have to address. The challenges incorporate a deficiency of management emphasis, deficiency of methods, the implications of new systems, and dated procedures. DOD parts recognized personnel, funding, IT, group, and coaching as the most crucial institutional challenges they face linked to the facts atmosphere.

Rising Technologies. DOD factors recognized a selection of systems that may existing possibly chances for or threats to DOD in the facts natural environment: synthetic intelligence and equipment mastering, quantum computing, social media platforms, and bots. On top of that, applicable reviews and topic subject specialists have recognized extended fact, fifth-technology wi-fi telecommunications, and the World wide web of Things as technologies that could have either good positive aspects or detrimental penalties for DOD.

Past and Prepared DOD Steps. Accomplishing and sustaining an benefit demands DOD to undertake and program actions throughout various areas, which includes doctrine, group, and instruction. For example, DOD elevated the principle of “information and facts” and has been revising its doctrine publications to reflect the fundamental mother nature of details in joint operations.

Threat Steps in the Information and facts Natural environment

Why GAO Did This Examine

Present-day details ecosystem poses new and advanced issues for countrywide security as the globe has shifted from an industrial age to an details age. Innovations in details technologies, wireless communications, and social media have increased the velocity and array of data, subtle energy above information, and shifted socio-cultural norms. The United States’ competition and adversaries are getting gain of these improvements and the subsequent effects in the information and facts atmosphere to offset the U.S.’s common warfighting benefits.

The Department of Protection (DOD) defines the info setting as the mixture of folks, businesses, and systems that acquire, approach, disseminate, or act on information— consisting of bodily, informational, and cognitive proportions, as revealed in the figure under.

3 Dimensions of the Information Surroundings

To illustrate and better inform Congress and DOD officers, this report describes DOD’s use and protection of the information ecosystem via the subsequent 6 key elements—ubiquitous and malign information and facts, consequences on DOD’s mission, risk actors, danger steps, institutional troubles, and emerging technologies that can help or adversely impact DOD’s missions. This report also describes DOD steps taken and prepared to use and defend the data surroundings.

To prepare this report, amongst other things, GAO administered questionnaires to 25 DOD companies involved in the details setting. GAO workers also interviewed officials and issue make a difference specialists reviewed 35 files on system, coverage, doctrine, and other advice from DOD and other federal agencies and reviewed scientific tests and other documents.

For far more data, get in touch with Joseph W. Kirschbaum at (202) 512-9971 or [email protected].