Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

3/13/2008
11:28 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Air Force Sheds (Some) Light On A Strategic Cyberspace Vision

But after reading the Air Force Cyber Command Strategic Vision, I'm still not clear on what the strategy actually is ... or if it's just PR posturing.

But after reading the Air Force Cyber Command Strategic Vision, I'm still not clear on what the strategy actually is ... or if it's just PR posturing.From provisional Commander, Air Force Cyber Command, Major General, USAF, William T. Lord's introduction to the vision

Mastery of cyberspace is essential to America's national security. Controlling cyberspace is the prerequisite to effective operations across all strategic and operational domains -- securing freedom from attack and freedom to attack. We will develop and implement plans for maturing and expanding cyberspace operations as an Air Force core competency.

We certainly need the defensive capability to defend our critical IT infrastructure from adversaries, and we should have the capability to ensure the communication facilities of our adversaries go dark during times of hostilities.

Here's more:

We will provide decision makers flexible options to deter, deny, disrupt, deceive, dissuade, and defeat adversaries through a variety of destructive and nondestructive, and lethal and nonlethal means. Finally, we will do this in friendly cooperation with our professional partners and teammates in other MAJCOMs, Services, COCOMs, and U.S. government agencies.

What's written here gives me hope that the Air Force, or at least one of the armed services, is finally starting to take cybersecurity seriously.

But it's what's not found anywhere in the document is how this is going to be achieved. Most of the Strategic Vision made public reads like government gobbledygook that was filtered through 187 layers of bureaucrats and legal and PR departments.

Which concerns me. Is this document the beginning of a real, holistic plan, or a PR move designed to help the Air Force acquire lead position as the defender of cyberspace from the Army or the NSA?

I hope not. I hope it's more than just jockeying for position. But I don't think it's a coincidence that this plan surfaced around the same time as those U.S. Air Force "Above All" TV spots you may have seen.

There is little talk of how the Air Force will cooperate with the owners and operators of our critical infrastructure. If an enemy were to attack our electronic infrastructure, they'll likely try to disrupt or destroy the financial and telecommunication networks, and even those of utility companies.

Any serious plan to secure cyberspace needs to include these, and other, stakeholders.

This mission is so critical, maybe it shouldn't be left to any single agency. Rather, it needs to be a cross-agency, cross private-public sector effort that involves Defense, DHS, Army, and Air Force, as well as members of private industry, certainly for information sharing. Perhaps a new agency needs to be created to protect cyberspace, so the best of all of these agencies could be put to swift use when needed.

Many of this nation's best and brightest IT minds are currently in the armed forces, and other agencies. Let's figure a way to ensure they're given the organization they need to succeed.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
IoT Vulnerability Disclosure Platform Launched
Dark Reading Staff 10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15270
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
Parse Server (npm package parse-server) broadcasts events to all clients without checking if the session token is valid. This allows clients with expired sessions to still receive subscription objects. It is not possible to create subscription objects with invalid session tokens. The issue is not pa...
CVE-2018-21266
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.
CVE-2018-21267
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-27673
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.9.1, as used with Xen through 4.14.x. Guest OS users can cause a denial of service (host OS hang) via a high rate of events to dom0, aka CID-e99502f76271.
CVE-2020-27674
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x allowing x86 PV guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges by modifying kernel memory contents, because invalidation of TLB entries is mishandled during use of an INVLPG-like attack technique.