The Evolving Battlefield

By Jason Bucher May 26, 2014

Memorial Day is an important holiday set aside to remember those who have died serving in the U.S. military. Our service members commit their time, their energy, and sometimes even their lives and deserve recognition from all of us.

I want to take the opportunity this Memorial Day to recognize the efforts being taken to protect us and our interests in cyber space. As the battlefields for our U.S. forces have evolved from the Lexington Green to cyber command posts, our men and women in uniform have always responded to the challenges facing them.

In 2011, the Pentagon declared cyberspace as a domain of warfare, right alongside land, sea, air, and space. This declaration was acknowledgment that cyberspace is not just an ancillary exposure but a major threat demanding extensive resources and attention — so much attention that, in the much-disputed 2014 appropriations bill, the budget for cyber command funding was doubled.

The headlines this past week included a huge development in cyber warfare as the U.S. Justice Department indicted five members of the Chinese military on charges ranging from computer fraud to economic espionage. That bold action has stated to the world that our economic interests aren’t free for the taking and the United States will do everything in its power to defend itself. It’s certain that this action will require our cyber forces to be even more diligent in the offensive and defensive actions they take to protect us from cyber criminals around the world.

One interesting area of evolution is the recruitment pursuits to fill the expanding need for cyber warriors. Recognizing that the skills for cyber warfare are simply not taught in a book, the military has turned its attention to the active hacker and security community. Clean-cut military recruiters wandering the halls at DefCon amid decidedly counterculture computer specialists is certainly a sight to see. But this approach has been successful in bringing the talent necessary to meet the challenges of cyber warfare.

As the battlefield evolves from open fields to keyboards, our armed forces are always there to protect our interests and safety. I ask you to take the opportunity this Memorial Day to remember the many who sacrificed their lives for their country and to thank a member of the military and his or her family for their service.