Cyberspace is the global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers. Cyberspace can be viewed as three layers (physical, logical, and social) made up of five components (geographic, physical network, logical network, cyber persona, and persona).

Cyberspace Levels

Cyberspace Levels [2]

The physical layer includes the geographic component and the physical network component. The geographic component is the physical location of elements of the network. While geopolitical boundaries can easily be crossed in cyberspace at a rate approaching the speed of light, there is still a physical aspect tied to the other domains. The physical network component includes all the hardware and infrastructure (wired, wireless, and optical) that supports the network and the physical connectors (wires, cables, radio frequency, routers, servers, and computers). [2]

The logical layer contains the logical network component which is technical in nature and consists of the logical connections that exist between network nodes. Nodes are any devices connected to a computer network. Nodes can be computers, personal digital assistants, cell phones, or various other network appliances. On an Internet protocol (IP) network, a node is any device with an IP address. [2]

The social layer comprises the human and cognitive aspects and includes the cyber persona component and the persona component. The cyber persona component includes a person’s identification or persona on the network (e-mail address, computer IP address, cell phone number, and others). The persona component consists of the people actually on the network. An individual can have multiple cyber personas (for example, different e-mail accounts on different computers) and a single cyber persona can have multiple users. [2]

Cybersecurity threats represent one of the most serious national security, public safety, and economic challenges we face as a nation.” – 2010 National Security Strategy

 Below is a list of the five (5) DoD Strategic Initiatives for Cyberspace: [1]

  • Strategic Initiative 1: Treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train, and equip so that DoD can take full advantage of cyberspace’s potential
  • Strategic Initiative 2: Employ new defense operating concepts to protect DoD networks and systems
  • Strategic Initiative 3: Partner with other U.S. government departments and agencies and the private sector to enable a whole-of-government Cybersecurity strategy
  • Strategic Initiative 4: Build robust relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen collective cybersecurity
  • Strategic Initiative 5: Leverage the nation’s ingenuity through an exceptional cyber workforce and rapid technological innovation

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/20/2017

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