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HTB’s open letter response to the DoD cyber strategy

The Department of Defense (DoD) summarized a new strategy this month that emphasizes helping U.S. partners and allies build their own cyber capacity.

Mags22 avatar

Apr 14

The 2023 Defense Department Cyber Strategy places a significant emphasis on supporting partner engagement and building cyber capacity among U.S. allies and partners. This strategy recognizes the importance of collaboration and collective resilience in the face of cyber threats. Here's how the strategy highlights this approach and how Hack The Box will play a role in supporting these efforts:

  • Emphasis on Partner Capacity Building: The DoD strategy underscores the commitment to enhance the cyber capabilities of global allies and partners. It recognizes that allies and partners provide a strategic advantage in cybersecurity which enables more closely aligned support in the event of a conflict. Additionally, the strategy acknowledges the interconnected nature of cyber threats as well as the importance of a collective defense due to adversaries targeting the weakest link to obtain data. Increasing the partner’s capability will raise the adversary’s cost in conducting an operation, which will entice the adversary to target a different victim.

  • Augmenting Partner Capacity: The Defense Department plans to assist allies and partners by providing them with access to cybersecurity infrastructure and maturing their cyber workforce. As a result, Hack The Box can be used as a skill development platform to enhance the technical capabilities of partner nations' cyber professionals by offering a safe environment to build hands-on experience with real-world cybersecurity challenges.

  • Direct Assistance in Capability Development: In some cases, the Defense Department commits to directly helping partners fill mission gaps within the cyber domain. This could involve enabling specific functions or resources needed by partner nations. Hack the Box has the ability to support this with a platform specifically built for collaborative learning and skill development, allowing partners to refine their cyber capabilities. In addition, HTB stands out as a powerful resource for understanding CVEs and, subsequently, fortifying network defenses. By immersing users in hands-on experiences and practical challenges, users have a unique opportunity to delve deeply into the subject matter of CVEs. This approach empowers cybersecurity practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to identify vulnerabilities, comprehend how they can be exploited, and most importantly, implement effective countermeasures to mitigate these threats. In essence, by gaining an intimate understanding of CVEs and their associated risks, users are better equipped to shore up their network defenses. The practical insights acquired on Hack The Box allow security professionals to migrate from a reactive approach to defense to a predictive mindset while getting ahead of an adversary’s potential operation. This, in essence, will bolster the overall resilience and security posture of their networks and raise the cost of an adversary’s operation. Additionally, with Enhanced Table-Top Exercise (TTX) events and/or gamified CTFs, the Defense Department and partner nation can train together within the same environment.

  • Expanding Partner Engagement: The DoD strategy aims to expand engagement with cyber-capable allies and partners at multiple levels—strategic, operational, and tactical. This expansion of partnerships can involve joint exercises, information sharing, and collaboration on cybersecurity initiatives. Hack The Box is able to serve as a platform for joint events and exercises, fostering cooperation and information exchange among partner nations.

Integration with Security Cooperation: The Defense Department intends to integrate these efforts into the wider security cooperation enterprise. This means cybersecurity capacity building will be closely tied to broader security and defense objectives. Hack the Box will support this integration by offering a versatile platform closely aligned with the evolving needs of partners in the security domain. As cybersecurity objectives align with the larger mission focus of more traditional security cooperation activities, Hack The Box can provide a platform to integrate into larger scale military exercises. 


In summary, the 2023 Defense Department Cyber Strategy highlights the importance of supporting partners and allies in building their cyber capacity to collectively defend against cyber threats. Platforms like Hack the Box will play a valuable role in this strategy by providing a practical and collaborative environment for skill development and capacity building in cybersecurity. This approach recognizes cybersecurity is most effective when used in tandem with other instruments of national power and emphasizes the need for integrated deterrence to address contemporary cyber challenges.

Interested in learning more about the ways Hack The Box is supporting the Department of Defense while helping hundreds of public and private sector teams close mission gaps while controlling cyber readiness at every stage? Click here to learn more.

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