Definition Edit

The DoD Global Information Grid (GIG)

[is] the globally interconnected, end-to-end set of information capabilities, associated processes and personnel for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand to warfighters, policy makers, and support personnel. The GIG includes owned and leased communications and computing systems and services, software (including applications), data, security services and other associated services necessary to achieve information superiority. It also includes National Security Systems as defined in section 5142 of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.[1]
consists of information capabilities — information, information technology (IT), and associated people and processes that support DoD personnel and organizations in accomplishing their tasks and missions — that enable the access to, exchange, and use of information and services throughout the Department and with non-DoD mission partners.[2]

Overview Edit

By this definition, the GIG encompasses all DoD and National Security and related Intelligence Community missions and functions (strategic, operational, tactical and business), in war and in peace. GIG includes information systems at all levels, from tactical to strategic, as well as the interconnecting communications systems.

The GIG:

  • supports the JFC throughout the range of military operations. Offensive actions to affect an adversary's information environment must be routinely explored and analyzed as a part of the full range of alternatives during the joint operation planning process.
  • is designed to support the joint force and provides interfaces to mission partners in order to create a seamless access to information.

The GIG also provides capabilities from all operating locations (bases, posts, camps, stations, facilities, mobile platforms, and deployed sites). The GIG provides interfaces to coalition, allied, and non-DOD users and systems.

The GIG is projected to cost as much as $100 billion and is intended to improve military communications by linking weapons, intelligence, and military personnel to each other. Since military networks interconnect with those in the civilian sector or use similar hardware or software, they are susceptible to any vulnerability in these other networks or technologies. Thus cyber security in the civilian and military sectors is intrinsically linked.

As of 2008, GIG incorporated 21 satellite communications networks; 65 nations; over 3,500 bases/posts; approximately 15,000 networks; thousands of applications; 120,000 commercial telecommunications circuits; and 7 million DOD computers (twice as many as in 2005).[3]

GIG operations Edit

DOD Global Information Grid operations are actions taken to direct, and provide guidance and unity of effort to support efforts to design, build, configure, secure, operate, maintain, and sustain DOD networks to create and preserve availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality and non-repudiation of information. Proactive Network Operations, the major operational method by which U.S. Cyber Command will conduct this line of operation, anticipates vulnerabilities and takes actions to preserve availability, confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation prior to the discovery of threats and intrusions.[4]

Security Edit

The Defense Department intends the most sensitive portions of the GIG to be self-contained, reducing the military’s potential exposure to the insecurities associated with the public IT infrastructure. However, some less sensitive portions of the GIG are expected to connect to the Internet, at least part of the time.

Vulnerabilities are introduced whenever highly sensitive defense networks and civilian networks intersect, giving both communities a significant stake in cooperating to improve the security of the civilian IT infrastructure. Also, economic realities dictate that today’s military networks and tomorrow’s GIG use civilian commercial hardware and software, exposing those networks to the security vulnerabilities of such products. GIG is potentially jeopardized by the millions of denial-of-service attacks, hacking, malware, botnets, viruses, and other intrusions that occur on a daily basis.

Thus, the success of the GIG as a secure IT infrastructure of the future — and the near-term success of today’s military networks — depends in part on improvements in the security of the civilian IT infrastructure.

References Edit

  1. National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, at GL-1.
  2. Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture Transition Strategy (Ver. 2.0) (Feb. 29, 2008).
  3. Final Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Department of Defense Policies and Procedures for the Acquisition of Information Technology, at 11-12.
  4. U.S. Cyber Command Concept of Operations.

Source Edit

See also Edit

External resources Edit

  • Capstone Requirements Document: Global Information Grid (GIG) (JROCM 134-01) (Aug. 30, 2001) (unclassified) (full-text).
  • U.S. Department of Defense, Global Information Grid (GIG) Overarching Policy (Department of Defense Directive 8100.1) (Sept. 19, 2002).

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