What is the Defense Industrial Base (DIB)?

The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) refers to the worldwide industrial complex that enables research and development, as well as design, production, delivery, and maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts, to meet U.S. military requirements. The DIB includes domestic and foreign entities, with private-sector companies ranging from small suppliers to large prime contractors, as well as government-owned or government-operated facilities and laboratories.

The DIB is critical to national security and is considered one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These sectors are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.

Within the DIB, companies and organizations are expected to adhere to strict standards of information security, especially concerning Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and more sensitive defense-related information. They are often required to comply with regulations such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), particularly NIST SP 800-171 for safeguarding CUI.

The protection and resilience of the DIB are coordinated through a partnership between the private sector and the federal government, with the Department of Defense (DoD) taking a leading role in engaging with the sector. This collaboration includes sharing information about threats and vulnerabilities, developing best practices for security, and responding to disruptions and attacks on the DIB supply chain.