NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC WASHINGTON DC United States
Nearly a half century ago in October 1969, computer programmers at the University of California, LosAngeles used a primitive Department of Defense computer network called ARPANET to send thefirst messages to computers at Stanford Research Institute. This quiet event, considered by some tobe the birth of the internet, ignited a technological movement within the computer and information industriesthat eventually transformed the world into a globally connected society utterly dependent on instantaccess to information, yet increasingly vulnerable to network intrusions by those who seek to steal sensitivedata or disrupt cyber infrastructure.This dependence and vulnerability is perhaps most prominent in the U.S. military. The information thatmoves through our networks empowers our forces in the field, enabling operators to make tactical and operationaldecisions, often with life-or-death consequences, that affect a strategic outcome. The Joint Forcesability to collect cues, understand and use big data to make decisions quickly, and then communicate thosedecisions to our fielded forces is an asymmetric advantage. But it is not a birthright or guaranteed to last.The daily attacks on our networks are increasingly sophisticated. A legion of cyber professionals relentlesslydefends our networks from those who wish us ill, but we cannot win cyber defense by having humans reactto intrusions at human speed. We must empower machines to monitor and defend the networks at machinespeed while providing options for humans to make decisions. Otherwise, we risk giving our opponentsmaneuvering space in that domain. We still have much work to do in this area. These are just a few of the challenges and opportunities facing the nation in the cyber domain that youwill find in this issue of PRISM.