In the past, we viewed military operations from just four domains, land, air, sea and space. Today, there is another dimension that is just as real, and just as tangible, as those traditional "natural" domains, cyberspace. This domain of operations is just as critical to understand, protect and secure as our land, air, sea and outer space regions, making our mission as CISSPs more important than ever.
Illustrating this important shift in traditional thinking, the United States Air Force (USAF) is building a new major command responsible for cyberspace operations, scheduled for initial operations capabilities by October 1st, 2008. This new command, the Air Force Cyber Command, is a major milestone in the evolution and acceptance of the concept of modern, virtual military operations in cyberspace.
Cyberspace is unique in that it is a constructed, virtual operational dimension of communications (email, mobile phones, IM) entertainment (digital cable, mp3s, YouTube), transportation (car engine systems, air traffic control, FedEx), shopping (online stores, credit cards), medicine (equipment, medical records), social networks (Web2.0, LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, Digg) and so much more.
According to Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, "Cyberspace is a domain for projecting and protecting national power, for both strategic and tactical operations. In addition, "the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff defined cyberspace as characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify and exchange data via networked systems and associated physical infrastructures."
Regardless of how one defines cyberspace, IT security professional are involved at every level of computing operations, protecting these activities and securing this brave new world against criminals, pirates, and terrorists. Without a doubt, we can expect the miscreants who have traditionally plagued the land, sea, and air to find new ways to threaten us, operating when and where they can, menacing who they can, in cyberspace.
Hopefully, there is a fellow CISSP on the other end of the wire.