New report creates a framework on force protection in the digital domain

Newly published report “Camouflage for the Digital Domain” provides a point of departure for discussion on force protection in the digital domain. Its builds on the challenges and issues observed by the NATO Stratcom CoE while working closely with armed forces and military organization. This report is intended to support commanders and decision-makers in coming to terms with these complex issues.

Drawing on previous experiments and a variety of case studies, the report formulates a framework for Armed Forces and military organizations to support understanding of the force protection issues related to the digital technologies and information which aligns NATO’s force protection process with contemporary digital threats.

The framework does not provide a silver bullet to digital risks and threats, but offers a variety of activities and measures ensure protection of critical assets:

a.       Removing mobile phones from military personnel during exercises and operations may be critical for OPSEC in many contexts but it does not remedy the complex threats in the digital domain.

b.      Red-teaming threats in the information environment is essential for identifying risks and vulnerabilities at all levels.

c.       Trainings concerning the malicious use of digital information should routinely be incorporated into military exercises.

d.      The ability to identify and counter hostile activities needs to be developed to support tactical and operational levels.

e.      Without answers to broader cyber challenges on a more systemic level, military organizations will continue to be vulnerable to threats arising from the digital space.

Publication has been produced in collaboration with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.