The Future Role of the Department of Defense in Protecting and Defending America’s Economy in Cyberspace

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Cyberspace attacks continue in the United States with many of these incidents crossing international borders. The global nature of cyberspace makes it difficult to determine if a breach into a computer system is an act of cyberterrorism, cyber crime, or cyber warfare. An attack to steal credit card information may be all three simultaneous. The Department of Defense is ready to protect the nation against all enemies in the air, on the land, or on the sea. These domains are well protected with military forces postured to respond. Our nation’s economy is under constant attack through the cyberspace domain. Attacks through electronic means happen at the speed of light and require a quick response to contain. Proactive approaches defend our borders, but not our economy. Instead, the United States has a passive defense relying on the goodwill of commercial enterprises and the investigative approaches of law enforcement agencies. Through the Untied States Cyber Command, the Department of Defense has capability that can be used to defend America. This work looks at the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Defense as it relates to Homeland Defense and the protection of credit card information transitioning across the Internet.