DoD sees robust network security architecture as central to cyber defence


The latest Department of Defence (DoD) annual performance plan (APP) notes an increase in cyber-attacks on both the domestic and international fronts and will combat this by implementing “robust network security architecture”.

The 250 plus page performance plan explains briefly the hows, whats, whens, wheres and whys of its approach to cyber warfare. It states: “The DOD remains aware of the possibility of escalated cyber-attacks against South Africa should it become involved in a conflict perceived to be illegitimate” adding “appropriate segregation and segmentation between the IT and control system including weapons systems, networks using firewalls and intrusion prevention and detection tools” will be the basis of segmentation actions to ensure cyber-security is maintained.

“The DoD will perform continuous network security monitoring, enabling identification of abnormalities on the network. During the current financial year development and consultation with identified stakeholders of a DoD Cyber Warfare Strategy will be undertaken to inform subsequent cyber security implementation instruments.”

Two proactive approaches covering the defensive and offensive are being evaluated.

On “defensive” the APP notes “information is an asset requiring protection commensurate with its value. Security measures must be taken to protect information from unauthorised access, modification, destruction or disclosure whether accidental or intentional”.

The APP has it that “commercialisation of big data implies almost any country or belligerent group is able to gain access to fast, high-powered computational and analytical capacity that can be used for military purposes” as it broad definition of the offensive side of cyber-warfare.

Further in the APP it is stated the DoD will contribute to national cyber-security initiatives as well with no further information given.