What GAO Discovered
Given the ever-present nature of the data setting, each DOD and adversaries can conduct operations and actions within the info setting from wherever on the earth. Moreover, with DOD capabilities depending on IT and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), its capability to conduct operations and actions in any of the bodily domains (land, maritime, air, and area) is reliant on defending the data setting. Based mostly on a evaluation of DOD methods, questionnaires, interviews, and steerage paperwork, GAO discovered:
Ubiquitous and Malign Info. The fusion of ubiquitous info and expertise has granted people, organizations, and nation-states the power to focus on the cognitive foundations of people—beliefs, feelings, and experiences—for functions both benign or malign. The proliferation of ubiquitous info, misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation has prompted protection specialists to start analyzing the idea of cognitive safety.
Relationship between Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation
DOD Missions and Features. Know-how, the EMS, and the sharing of knowledge are integral to engaging in DOD’s missions within the info setting. DOD parts persistently recognized the conduct of navy operations, communications, command and management decision-making, and others, as missions and features affected by the data setting.
Risk Actors. Nationwide and DOD methods acknowledge that nation-states—resembling China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea—have demonstrated that they’re risk actors within the info setting, using malicious cyber, EMS, and affect actions towards DOD pursuits. Moreover, nonstate actors—resembling insider threats, international terrorists, transnational legal organizations, and others—pose a risk to DOD personnel at residence and overseas.
Risk Actions. DOD parts highlighted a wide range of our on-line world threats, info or intelligence assortment threats, affect threats, and EMS threats that adversely have an effect on DOD personnel and capabilities (see determine beneath).
Institutional Challenges. Nationwide and DOD methods and paperwork determine quite a few institutional challenges that DOD should handle. The challenges embrace a scarcity of management emphasis, lack of sources, the implications of recent applied sciences, and dated processes. DOD parts recognized personnel, funding, IT, group, and coaching as a very powerful institutional challenges they face associated to the data setting.
Rising Applied sciences. DOD parts recognized a wide range of applied sciences which will current both alternatives for or threats to DOD within the info setting: synthetic intelligence and machine studying, quantum computing, social media platforms, and bots. Moreover, related experiences and material specialists have recognized prolonged actuality, fifth-generation wi-fi telecommunications, and the Web of Issues as applied sciences that might have both constructive advantages or detrimental penalties for DOD.
Previous and Deliberate DOD Actions. Reaching and sustaining a bonus requires DOD to undertake and plan actions throughout a number of areas, together with doctrine, group, and coaching. For instance, DOD elevated the idea of “info” and has been revising its doctrine publications to mirror the basic nature of knowledge in joint operations.
Risk Actions within the Info Surroundings
Why GAO Did This Research
Right this moment’s info setting poses new and sophisticated challenges for nationwide safety because the world has shifted from an industrial age to an info age. Advances in info expertise, wi-fi communications, and social media have elevated the velocity and vary of knowledge, subtle energy over info, and shifted socio-cultural norms. The US’ rivals and adversaries are making the most of these advances and the following results within the info setting to offset the U.S.’s standard warfighting benefits.
The Division of Protection (DOD) defines the data setting as the combination of people, organizations, and methods that gather, course of, disseminate, or act on info— consisting of bodily, informational, and cognitive dimensions, as proven within the determine beneath.
Three Dimensions of the Info Surroundings
As an example and higher inform Congress and DOD officers, this report describes DOD’s use and safety of the data setting by means of the next six key components—ubiquitous and malign info, results on DOD’s mission, risk actors, risk actions, institutional challenges, and rising applied sciences that may allow or adversely have an effect on DOD’s missions. This report additionally describes DOD actions taken and deliberate to make use of and defend the data setting.
To organize this report, amongst different issues, GAO administered questionnaires to 25 DOD organizations concerned within the info setting. GAO employees additionally interviewed officers and material specialists; reviewed 35 paperwork on technique, coverage, doctrine, and different steerage from DOD and different federal businesses; and reviewed research and different paperwork.
For extra info, contact Joseph W. Kirschbaum at (202) 512-9971 or [email protected]