Cyber Infrastructure: The Forgotten Vulnerability
SAMS Monograph rept. Jun 2013-May 2014
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Cyber infrastructure is a relatively new topic in the discussion of national security. The advent of cyber as a fifth warfighting domain has elevated the importance of cyber in national security priorities. The singular focus on virtual attacks has resulted in the neglected security of the actual physical infrastructure. As contemporary theorists struggle to understand the future of cyber and its place in national security, the physical aspect of cyber has been relegated to the background of the discussion. The current administrations reliance on the private-public partnership, where the private sector owns a vast majority of the infrastructure, has delayed efforts in a comprehensive security plan that encompasses both physical and virtual attacks. Although a coordinated attack has yet to occur, the possibility exists. This monograph proposes that cyber infrastructure is vulnerable to attack. Specifically, a combined physical and virtual attack poses a significant threat to the U.S. cyber infrastructure. The lack of documented research about the possible effects of a coordinated, complex attack reveals a planning lapse that our enemies could exploit. This paper will utilize a scenario approach to determine possible outcomes of such an attack. The findings will show that the absence of a coherent and inclusive cyber infrastructure defensive strategy, which has left the U.S. vulnerable to physical attack, is the result of budgetary constraints, an overreliance on private-public partnership, and a lack of a codified single authority.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics