The US Department of Defense (DoD) stands ready to defend government agencies and private companies against cyber attacks.
According to William Matthews of the Navy Times, a recent agreement signed with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "makes it likely" that the military will be a "key part" of any response to hostile cyber activity.
Although the DHS officially remains the point man on cyber defense, the new pact establishes "an opportunity" for the agency to "take advantage" of the expertise found in the digital armories of the Pentagon.
The two agencies - Defense and Homeland Security - will "help each other in more tangible ways then they have in the past," confirmed Robert J. Butler, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.
"Closer collaboration provides an opportunity to look at new ways that we can [execute] national cyber incident response. [And] the DoD's focus is really about getting into the mix.
"[So], we want to plan together and work together with other departments to ensure they understand the military's cyber capabilities and that the military [comprehends] what other agencies and private companies can do for cyber defense."
Butler also noted that the US planned to forge cyber-defense partnerships with "like-minded nations" in the areas of shared awareness, shared warning and collective response.
"As we move forward, we are trying to build capacity at one level, and at another level - interdependence - you are actually laying a foundation for deterring bad behavior in cyberspace.
"[Because] every day, people think of new ways to use the Internet. As I look at the advent of social networking sites and what that has done, people have learned to use the Internet to not only communicate in traditional ways, but to build new networks that create both opportunities as well as threats."