War on Cyber Network Attack in the USA

Cyber network attack can be described as any attempt geared towards
revealing, distorting or stealing unauthorized information from a
computer network. Cyber network attack is a universal problem with
almost all countries that have embraced technology taking it to them to
curb the vice. Cyber network attackers seem to be always a step ahead in
technological advancements. The ease with which some of them get access
to vital information on the internet is still a mystery which computer
scientists are fast trying to curb.
The USA has been for a long time now one of the leading countries in
the world in terms of technological advancements. More government and
private agencies’ operations get to be digitalized to increase speed
and accuracy with which information gets relayed. Consequently, the USA
has experienced equally devastating cyber network attacks that have cost
the country and its citizens billion of dollars. Such has been the
effect of cyber network attacks on the country’s economy. This
research project will look at how the USA defend against cyber network
attack and exploitation, and plan to conduct those activities against
targets.
In the past, the threat to a country’s stability has been physical
aggression either from within the country or from outside. Methods to
fight such aggressions have always been a formation of policies that
help fight such attacks. These include formation of Special Forces
within the police and military departments. These Special Forces got
mandated with detecting, investigating and fighting any potential
attacks from any groups within or outside the country. While these
threats have not ended, there has been the emergence of new ones. Cyber
crime has emerged as one of the threats facing many countries. The
threat proves to be equally dangerous as other threats such as terrorism
are. In some contexts, the threat is even worse than physical attacks.
Literature Review
The USA has embraced technology on all fronts. Technological
advancements have seen businesses carry out their operations at a
relatively low cost. The military has embraced technology to gear
revolution in military affairs. Most departments in the USA government
have embraced more of technology in their operations than they have been
doing. In an attempt to look at how the USA defends these departments
from cyber attacks, this research used several literatures on the
American cyber security. The research looked at a CRS report of congress
on information operations, electronic warfare and cyber war. The report
describes the emerging areas of information operations, electronic
warfare and cyber wars in the context of the national security of the
USA. The report also suggests related policy issues of interest to the
congress.
The research also looked at a journal by the Air force Space Command.
The journal looks at length the importance of cyberspace and its related
technology to the military of the USA. It further discusses the threats
posed by cybercrime to the military. The journal seeks to establish the
relation between space and cyberspace. According to air force command,
there is high potential at the intersection of space and cyberspace.
Although they have not conclusively established the benefits of blending
the two, air force space command believes that the capabilities that got
achieved when the intersection of air and space got revolutionized can
further be attained. This is through revolutionizing space and
cyberspace.
The research looked at literature on cyber warfare and cyber terrorism
produced by Lech.J Janczewski and Andrew M.Colarik. The two scholars
looked at the impact of technology to the 21st century. Addressing
various factors and instances when technology has impacted on
civilization, the two scholars gave a review of how technology has
impacted on people over time. The research further looked at the Air
Force Doctrine on cyber security the Air Force declares its commitment
to promote the benefits brought by cyberspace. It, however, stresses
that it has a mandate to educate all Airmen ways on how to prevail in
the contested cyberspace domain. The document looks at the risks and
threats posed by cyberspace to the American air force, and how the air
force plans to counter attack them.
The research also looked at the report released by the department of
defense strategy for operating in cyberspace. In the report, the
department of defense stresses on the vital role played by cyberspace to
the economy of the USA. It goes on to discuss the threats posed by
cybercrime to the economy and the policies put forward by the government
to curb these threats. Among the policies put in place by the department
of defense is the cyber incident handling program. The program ensures
an integrated capability to improve continually the department’s
ability to rapidly identify and respond to cyber incidents that
adversely affect the department’s information networks and information
systems.
This can be seen as an internal policy geared towards curbing cyber
threats in the department. The department, given its role, is at the
centre of cyber attacks. The program ensures that the department is in a
position to continuously provide its services without interference of
its programs and information systems. From these and other relevant
sources, the research discovered the seriousness with which the
government of USA is treating cybercrime and the threats it poses to
both citizens and the economy of the USA.
Methodology and Research Strategy
The research mainly relied on documentaries produced by the various
departments in the USA which addresses the issue of cyber security.
These departments range from the departments found in the military to
those solely responsible for the general protection of the country from
cyber attacks. The research also borrowed ideas from literature from
scholars such as Lech.J Janczewski and Andrew M.Colarik to supplement
further its findings on the hypothesis of the research. The research
further referred to the federal laws established regarding cyber
security.
The documentaries, most released in the year 2010 and 2011, got
compared, and the main points put into consideration. Information from
these sources got combined to provide findings that summarized the
arguments provided in the sources. The criteria for choosing the points
to include in this research could be based on the validity of the point
in terms of the context in which the point gets addressed. Some of the
information found in the resources used could not be included on the
grounds of being too general or lacking the required illustration. Upon
establishing these points, they got interpreted in the context of the
hypothesis of the research.
The main limitation to this method of data collection was the lack of a
common channel from which information on cyber attacks gets addressed in
the country. There lacked a common source that could provide the overall
strategies deployed by the government. Despite these limitations, the
main points got captured and analytically put forward as part of the
research’s analysis and findings.
Analysis and Findings
The research established the various federal laws relating to security.
Many enacted laws in the USA address various aspects of cyber security.
The electronics communication privacy act of 1986 prohibited illegal
electronic eavesdropping. The computer security act of 1987 gave the
national institute of standards and technology the mandate to develop
security standards for federal computer systems.
The paperwork lessening act got enacted in 1995. The act gave the office
of management and budget the duty to develop cyber security policies. In
1996, the Clinger-Cohen act got enacted into law. The act made those in
charge of the overall working of agencies liable for ensuring the
competence of agency policies on cyber security. The position of chief
information officer got further established by the same act. The
homeland security act of 2002 gave the department of homeland security
some cyber security tasks. This came as an addition to those tasks
stipulated by its general tasks.5
The federal information security management act of 2002 is one of the
most common federal laws. This act made NIST and agency cyber security
responsibilities stronger. 5 The nine acts of the federal goverrnment
brought the much needed security to cyber networks. Although they could
not completely wipe out the crime, they contained the situation. The
rules also served to create awareness in the corporate world on the
emerging threat of cyber network attacks. The acts further helped to
create awareness among members of the public, who most of them, never
took the threat of cyber network attacks seriously.
Among the strategies deployed by the department of defense in the USA is
treating cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train and
equip so that the department can take full advantage of the cyber
potential. Further, cyber red teams throughout war games and exercises
will be used as a way to fight cyber network attacks. Operating with the
presumption of breach will enable the department to be agile and
resilient, drawing its focus on mission accomplishment and preservation
of critical operating capability. To support this effort, the department
will ensure there is a development of resilient networks and systems. In
a case where one of the systems fails, the department will isolate and
neutralize the effect of the failure. Isolating the system from the
rests enables the department to remain operational.
The department of defense further deploys constantly revolving defense
operating concepts. The department is enhancing its cyber hygiene best
practices as one of the steps to achieve this goal. It is also
strengthening its workforce communication, workforce accountability,
internal monitoring and information management capabilities. These steps
are meant to deter and mitigate insider threats. Insider threats are
threats which originate from within the organization mainly from the
workers. To further achieve this, department is employing new defense
operating concepts and computing architecture.
The department of defense has established good cyber hygiene as one of
the best ways to curb cyber crimes. Individuals should feel obliged to
make it their responsibility to protect them. This is equally important
as it is deploying security software and operating systems up to date.
The department plans to extend the private sector’s continuous renewal
method to enhance its own computing devices and enhance its cyber
hygiene practices. According to the department, good cyber hygiene
practices should be a call to both users and administrators. Both should
be seen to be embracing these hygiene practices.
The other strategy that the department of defense has employed is
partnering with other USA departments, agencies and the private sector
in the fight against cyber network attacks. Most of DoD’s critical
functions rely on commercial assets. In most cases, the department does
not have the authority to intrude into these departments’ security
systems. In order to ensure that there is overall safety of its
information as well as that of its partners, the DoD will partner with
these other departments to have an inclusive cyber security mechanism.
This gets further necessitated by the interdependent nature of
cyberspace. Information on cyberspace gets interconnected making it
difficult to protect completely one department without the inclusion of
other departments.
The department of defense will build robust relationships with USA
allies and international partners to strengthen cyber security. The
department will seek to partner with their diverse global allies who
share common cores with the country on the war against cyber crime. This
will help the country be able to detect and intervene on any threats
targeted towards the country from attackers outside the USA. Cyberspace
is a network of networks across the globe connected by thousands of ISPs
operated either locally or internationally. This makes it impossible for
one country to win the war on cyber crime on its own. There is,
therefore, need for cooperation.
Santanam and Mohit contend that the department of defense further plans
to leverage the country`s commitment through a highly skilled cyber
workforce and rapid technological innovation. The department took upon
to put together the country’s technical, financial and intellectual
resources to build a team of endowed civilians and military staff who
will operate in cyberspace. The team will also help achieve the
objectives of the department. 8The development and retention of such a
workforce is integral to the success of the department of defense’s
objectives. Considering the high demand for cyber personnel, the
department of defense is geared towards remaining competitive if it is
to attract technically skilled personnel to work for the government in a
long-term basis.8
The department of defense acquisition for information technology will
adopt five principles. The first principle will be speed. The
department’s technological cycles must match those of the information
technology. They will normally be twelve to thirty six months, not the
normal seven to eight years. The department will employ incremental
development and testing as opposed to large complex systems .thirdly,
the department will be willing to sacrifice some of the current
customizations in order to increase speed. The department’s
technological needs will adopt differing levels of oversight based on
the department’s prioritization of critical systems. Lastly, improved
security measures will be taken with the all the systems bought by the
department. These include the software and hardware.
Conclusion
The USA government can be seen to have made tremendous efforts to
defend cyber network attack and exploitation. This research project made
use of the available documents both from government departments and
private scholars to establish these efforts. After in-depth analysis of
the available laws on cyber security, the research established nine most
common laws established between 1984 and 2002 that served to enhance
cyber security. These laws affected different departments of the federal
government. The laws ensured that all government agencies embraced the
issue of cyber security.
The department of defense in the USA came up with five strategies that
enhanced that war on cyber crime got taken with the seriousness it
deserves. These strategies involved the department itself, other
departments in the economy as well as international allies of the USA.
The first strategy ensured that the USA gets to treat cyberspace as an
operational domain to organize, train and equip so that the department
can take full advantage of the cyber potential. The second strategy was
deploying constantly revolving defense operations. This made it
difficult for attackers to plan long term attacks. The department
further sought to partner with other USA departments, agencies and
private sector to enable a whole-of-government cyber security.
The department also planned to leverage the nation’s ingenuity
through an exceptional cyber workforce and rapid technological
innovation. The last strategy by the department was cooperating with
international allies of the USA to provide a global system of cyber
security. Through the five strategies, the department of defense sought
to provide the much required cyber security to the people of the USA and
the whole world at large.
The provisions of this project are vital to any department or
organization in the country. The project was able to analyze the basic
guidelines provided by the government of the USA to fight cyber network
attacks. If clearly followed, the guidelines in this research can help
the country as whole step its war against cyber network attacks to a
higher level. Considering the rapid evolution been experienced in the
technological field, there is an urgent need to practice efficient rules
and regulations that will help the country get rid of this monster.
The research on its own, cannot serve to curb the vice in the long
term. It will need editing to help it remain relevant in the ever
evolving world of technology. The present methods of cyber attacks
employed by attackers will be very different in three to five years to
come. There is, therefore, a need for other scholars to establish better
ways to fight crime in the future. Among areas of most concern to this
research is diversity with which cyber crimes get committed. There
should be formulation of advanced rules that will be seen to be a step
ahead of the attackers. This will go a long way to help curb the vice.
The research also suggests that, in future, scholars seek to establish
the impact of taking personal responsibility in the fight against cyber
crime. Little has been put forward concerning the idea. It is, however,
worth noting that cyber crime, in most cases start with an individual.
Someone somewhere with the access of a computer, a modem and the
necessary IT knowledge can do great harm to systems in the government
within seconds. A good example is that of the virus ‘I love you’.
The virus cost damages estimated around $6.7 billion. The society needs
to change its perception of cyber security. There should be more
responsibility at a personal level than there is present.
Bibliography
Bayuk, Jennifer, Cyber Security Policy Guidebook (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley,
2012), 4
Deibert, Ronald, Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in
Asian Cyberspace Information Revolution and Global Politics (Cambridge,
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Fischer, Eric, Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: CRS Report for
Congress (Washington: CRC Press, 2013), 3
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(New York: Springer, 2008), 6
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(Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2004), 5
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PA: Information Science Reference, 2011), 12.
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Age (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), 22.
Wilson, Clay, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare and Cyberwar
(Wanshington: CRS Report for Congress, 2007), 7
Bayuk, Jennifer, Cyber Security Policy Guidebook (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley,
2012), 4.
Deibert, Ronald. Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance
in Asian Cyberspace Information Revolution and Global Politics
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 14
Janczewski, Lech and Colarik, Andrew, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Terrorism
(New York: Springer, 2008), 6
Fischer, Eric, Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: CRS Report for
Congress (Washington: CRC Press, 2013), 3
Kowalik, Janusz, Janusz Górski, and Anatoliĭ Alekseevich Sachenko,
Cyberspace Security and Defense Research Issues (Dordrecht: Springer,
2005), 2
Reveron, Derek, Cyberspace and National Security: Threats,
Opportunities, and Power in a Virtual World. (Washington, DC: Georgetown
University Press, 2012), 10
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$ Schell, Bernadette and Clemens Martin, Cybercrime: A Reference
Handbook (Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2004), 5
Santanam, Raghu Sethumadhavan, and Mohit Virendra, Cyber Security,
Cyber Crime and Cyber Forensics: Applications and Perspectives (Hershey,
PA: Information Science Reference, 2011), 12
Wilson, Clay, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare and Cyberwar
(Wanshington: CRS Report for Congress, 2007), 7
Wall, David, Cybercrime: The Transformation of Crime in the Information
Age (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), 22.
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