Academic journal article Prism : a Journal of the Center for Complex Operations

Prologue

Academic journal article Prism : a Journal of the Center for Complex Operations

Prologue

Article excerpt

Nearly a half century ago in October 1969, computer programmers at the University of California, Los Angeles used a primitive Department of Defense computer network called ARPANET to send the first messages to computers at Stanford Research Institute. This quiet event, considered by some to be the birth of the internet, ignited a technological movement within the computer and information industries that eventually transformed the world into a globally connected society utterly dependent on instant access to information, yet increasingly vulnerable to network intrusions by those who seek to steal sensitive data or disrupt cyber infrastructure.

This dependence and vulnerability is perhaps most prominent in the U.S. military. The information that moves through our networks empowers our forces in the field, enabling operators to make tactical and operational decisions, often with life-or-death consequences, that affect a strategic outcome. The Joint Force's ability to collect cues, understand and use big data to make decisions quickly, and then communicate those decisions 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 relentlessly defends our networks from those who wish us ill, but we cannot win cyber defense by having humans react to intrusions at human speed. We must empower machines to monitor and defend the networks at machine speed while providing options for humans to make decisions. Otherwise, we risk giving our opponents maneuvering space in that domain. We still have much work to do in this area.

In addition to human-machine teaming, we need to continue investing in and developing a more effective framework for deterring cyberattacks, attributing intrusions, and managing escalation. …

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