The Challenges of Defense Support of Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense in the Cyber Domain
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Defending U.S. National Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources CIKR and the Global Information Grid GIG against a cyber attack is at the forefront of national-level discussions. The U.S. homelands assumed sanctuary against cyber disruption and cyber attack is often little more than an afterthought to defense planners. However, recent state and nonstate adversarial threats have proved their strength and efficacy in the cyber domain by disrupting supply chains, attacking banking systems, seizing intellectual property, and compromising the software used to operate aspects of the CIKR. As a result, the Department of Defense DoD is challenged to provide support to other U.S. government agencies and key operators within the private sector to detect, deter, prevent, and thwart exploitation of CIKR and the GIG. U.S. Cyber Command USCYBERCOM, a subordinate unified command of U.S. Strategic Command, is responsible for defending DoD information systems and networks. USCYBERCOM also is tasked to conduct Cyber Defense Support of Civil Authorities DSCA, when directed by the President or Secretary of Defense. This paper discusses how USCYBERCOMs capabilities have synchronized and effectively arrayed resources into a functional interagency effort to improve cyber security for the nation. It identifies the complex challenges of conducting Cyber-DSCA in an interagency environment and the statutory authorities governing DoD operational elements. Furthermore, USCYBERCOMs formal establishment of a Standing Joint Task Force provides a structure for conducting these complex Cyber-DSCA operations.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Civil Defense