Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Robert F. Mills, PhD


The cyber attacks on Estonia in late April and the early weeks of May 2007 significantly crippled the country, preventing it from performing banking, communications, news reporting, government transactions and command and control activities. Estonia is considered a “Wired Society”, much like the United States. Both countries rely on the cyberspace infrastructure economically and politically. Estonia sought assistance outside the country to recover from and to address the attacks. The cyber attacks on Estonia focused world-wide attention on the effects that cyberspace attacks could have on countries. If a cyber attack of national significance occurred against the United States, what would the United States do? The Department of Defense is responsible for protecting the nation and its geographical boundaries from attack, but what is DoD’s role for securing the United States’ cyberspace? Research was conducted by studying national orders, strategies, policies plans, and doctrine to determine DoD’s role for securing the United States’ cyberspace. Research revealed that DoD is assigned the lead role as Sector Specific Agency (SSA) for the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). As the lead SSA for the DIB, DoD’s role for securing the United States’ cyberspace is to identify, assess, and improve risk management of the critical infrastructure within the DIB. Our nation’s defense and military strength rely on the DoD which in turn relies on the DIB to enable DoD to perform its mission. Participation by the DIB is on a voluntary basis, with DIB participants making the risk management calls and implementing the strategies that best fit their needs, which may not serve national security objectives.

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