Cyber Now Classed As ‘Fifth Domain’ Of Warfare

The UK armed forces now class cyber as the fifth dimension of warfare, and are planning to make a significant overhaul of the military’s approach, PortSwigger reports. The established domains of warfare include sea, air, land, and space. Now the military intend to prioritise the protection and development of digital communications.

General Sir Patrick Sanders is head of the UK’s Strategic Command, and cyber falls within his domain. He recently spoke at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade exhibition in London. He told delegates that the new generation of military personnel would need to operate across all five domains of warfare.

Gen Sanders said: “We’re going to need to think radically about the career model, training, and education that accelerates the pace of this evolution because if we don’t adapt, we will at best become exquisite but irrelevant – and at worst we will die.”

He added: “We are going to need access to fundamentally different skills and talent and to place equal value and afford equal status to computer scientists, data engineers, and cyber operators as we do on the traditional warrior elite.”

In order to modernise and move forward, the military are actively recruiting multi-skilled personnel, and coding and IT ability are set to become more important than physical fitness.

In promising news for the new approach of the armed forces, the National Cyber Security Centre reports that record numbers of teenagers are signing up to extracurricular activities and courses to develop their cyber skills. More than 1,850 teenagers took part in cyber defence programmes over the summer, both virtually and in-person.

The students aged 14 to 17 covered topics such as digital forensics, ethical hacking, and cryptography. 43% of the intake were girls, and pupils from minority backgrounds made up 47% of the places.

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