National Intelligence Strategy Highlights Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity flag

The National Intelligence Strategy, released yesterday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), names cyber threat intelligence as one of seven mission objectives for the intelligence community, and addresses threats and opportunities from emerging technologies.

The report defines cyber threat intelligence as both the threats that foreign cyber programs could impose on U.S. national security interests, and information about the systems used in foreign cyber programs–a nod to the defend-forward approach of the Department of Defense’s Cyber Strategy.

ODNI sets three action items for the intelligence community on cyber threats:

  • Improve its understanding of how adversaries use cyber operations;
  • Expand the production and release of actionable cyber threat intelligence to protect vital information networks and critical infrastructure, and;
  • Enable plans to deter and counter malicious cyber actors.

“Cyber threats are already challenging public confidence in our global institutions, governance, and norms, while imposing numerous economic costs domestically and globally. As the cyber capabilities of our adversaries grow, they will pose increasing threats to U.S. security, including critical infrastructure, public health and safety, economic prosperity, and stability,” the report states.

The report also highlights the opportunities and threats around emerging technology in describing the strategic environment.

“Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, automation, and high performance computing are advancing computational capabilities that can be economically beneficial, however these advances also enable new and improved military and intelligence capabilities for our adversaries,” the report notes.

Likewise, the report noted the potential for the intelligence community to process the increased amount of data and gain better insights, but also pointed to the potential for increased inequities.

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