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Perspectives on Cyber Power

Cyber Power Papers provide original and accessible overviews of subjects about cyber power, conflict, and cooperation by practitioners and renowned scholars who are leaders in their fields. They provide venues for dialogue and study about cyber power and its relationships to national security, foreign relations, military operations, economic policy, and other strategic issues, and they are essential reading for senior military leaders, professional military education students, and interagency, academic, and private-sector partners. 

ImageTitleDescription
 Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting TheoryCyber targeting and associated doctrine should be the center of Air Force cyber strategy and its plans to organize, train, and equip a force for full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Understanding what targets cyber operations can affect is critical to deliberate planning or crisis planning. This paper attempts to draw parallels to early airpower targeting principles in order to propose a cyber-power targeting theory based on offense, defense, and exploitation objectives. It draws upon limited artifacts inherent to wielding cyber power—attribution, authorities, and centers of gravity—and acknowledges their impacts upon leaders and practitioners of cyber power. In addition to focusing on the adversary, the theory is intended to cause introspection toward the end of identifying potential Air Force and national security vulnerabilities in, through, and from cyberspace. [Steven J. Anderson / 2016 / 169 pages / ISBN: 9781585662388 / AU Press Code: P-100]
 Cyber Workforce RetentionThe US Air Force must develop strategies to effectively retain and sustainably build its workforce of 1B4 cyber Airmen. Doing so will be most critical in the next few years as the Air Force continues to increase its contribution to the nation’s cyber mission forces. This study overviews the current cybersecurity human capital environment and explores the evolution of this new breed of warrior and the plan to move this emerging career field from growth to future sustainment. Also examined are public-sector retention study and initiative findings and Department of Defense retention tools—primarily special and incentive pays—for their potential application in supporting cyber Airmen retention. The study concludes with recommendations for initiatives and focus areas to support not only retention of cyber Airmen but also growth and sustainability of this fledgling career field. [Maj William E. Parker IV, USAF / 2016 / 69 pages / ISBN: 9781585662647 / Cost: $9 / AU Press Code: CPP-2 ]
 Is Cyber Deterrence Possible?Deterrence in the cyber domain is drastically different and far more complicated than in the other military domains of air, land, sea, and space. Cyber weapons and offensive cyber techniques are relatively inexpensive and easily obtained or developed. The number of adversary groups capable of attacking US networks is large, and our ability to deter each group will vary based on their motives and levels of risk tolerance. An effective cyber deterrence strategy must be multilayered and use all instruments of US national power. This paper explores the difficulties of deterring unwanted cyber activities, sets some realistic expectations for a deterrence strategy, and offers proposals to help mitigate the problems. [Col Timothy M. McKenzie, USAF / 2017 / 33 pages ISBN: 9781585662739 / AU Press Code: CPP-4]
 Social MediaThe inherent risks and vulnerabilities of the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have cultivated a rich and ripe environment for foreign adversaries and criminals to cherry-pick personal information about Airmen and their missions for nefarious activities. FBI guidance encourages users to reduce their online footprint in cyberspace rather to proliferate it. This paper addresses some of the most common threats and vulnerabilities of the social media environment, the risks of using social media, and current Air Force social media guidance. It recommends revising Air Force social media guidance and outlines cyberspace best practices. An informed workforce can better protect the Air Force mission and reduce the risk of becoming a target of opportunity. [Lt Col Scott E. Solomon, USAF / 2017 / 51 pages / ISBN: 9781585662715 / Cost: $0 / AU Press Code: CPP-6]
 Strategies for Resolving the Cyber Attribution ChallengeTechnical challenges are not a great hindrance to global cyber security cooperation; rather, a nation’s lack of cybersecurity action plans that combine technology, management procedures, organizational structures, law, and human competencies into national security strategies are. Strengthening international partnerships to secure the cyber domain will require understanding the technical, legal, and defense challenges faced by our international partners. Identifying the gaps in international cooperation and their socioeconomic and political bases will provide the knowledge required to support our partners’ cybersecurity and contribute to building a cyber environment less hospitable to misuse. It will also help US policy makers to determine the appropriate escalation of diplomatic and defensive responses to irresponsible countries in cyberspace. Further research and discussion will likely enable the timely development of the response framework for US sponsorship of sound global norms to guide global cybersecurity. This will also assist the US defense, diplomatic, and development communities in building consensus, leveraging resources to enhance global cybersecurity, and coordinating US global outreach to those countries most beset by cyber crime and conflict. [Panayotis A. Yannakogeorgos / 2013 / 107 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-226-5 / Cost: $0 / AU Press Code: P-93
 The Achievable Multinational Cyber Treaty: Strengthening Our Nation’s Critical InfrastructureDeveloping cyber norms and institutions has been problematic due to the competing interests of the major state actors in the multinational environment—especially among Russia, China, and the United States—concerning information freedom and access. The author establishes the genesis of this debate and argues that the United States should move beyond it to the issue of protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attack. Addressing the escalating threats to our nation’s infrastructure and networks, the author recommends pursuing an international agreement singularly focused on securing critical infrastructure combined with improving national regulatory and legislative measures for cyber defense. [Col Mark A. Barrera, USAF/2017/35 pages/ISBN 9781585662661/CPP-3]
 The Human Side of Cyber ConflictIn response to a tasking from the Air Force chief of staff, the Air Force Research Institute conducted a review of how the service organizes, educates/trains, and equips its cyber workforce. The resulting findings were used to develop recommendations for how the Air Force should recruit, educate, train, and develop cyber operators from the time they are potential accessions until they become senior leaders in the enlisted and officer corps. This study’s discoveries, analyses, and recommendations are aimed at guiding staff officers and senior leaders alike as they consider how to develop a future cyber workforce that supports both Air Force and US Cyber Command missions across the range of military operations. [Panayotis A. Yannakogeorgos and John P. Geis II / 2016 / 260 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-259-3 / AU Press Code: B-143]
 US Policy Response to Cyber Attack on SCADA Systems Supporting Critical National InfrastructureThis study examines federal efforts to unify the public and private domestic sectors in the defense against cyber attack on the industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that underpin US critical national infrastructure. It describes critical national infrastructure; the role of industrial control and SCADA systems in these sectors; and the panoply of actors, vulnerabilities, late-to-need cybersecurity, and threat trends for these systems. Political and social challenges to achieving greater cybersecurity are examined as are the processes through which the US government divides efforts among its lead cybersecurity agencies and what the responses to a cyber attack on ICS or SCADA might resemble. Finally, this study offers policy. [Maj Scott A. Weed , USAF / 2017 / 67 pages / ISBN: 9781585662760 / AU Press Code: CPP-7]
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