Cyber War Retaliation Decision: A Fuzzy Multi Criteria Decision Making Approach

Cyber War Retaliation Decision: A Fuzzy Multi Criteria Decision Making Approach

Mhamed Zineddine (ALHOSN University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/ijcwt.2011100102


Information Communication Technology (ICT) has become a core part of every organization. Any disruption in ICT’s main infrastructure may have severe impacts and lead to huge losses. Governmental and military institutions’ facilities, networks, and infrastructure are no exception. Defending the ICT military and public installations and infrastructure is vital in both times of peace and war. This study proposes a decision model using the appropriate criteria and fuzzy multiple criteria decision making to select the right action after a cyber-attack. The results show that the fuzzy multiple criteria model constructed in this study could indeed mitigate the inadequacies and uncertainties surrounding the decision to retaliate after a cyber-attack.
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Information Communication Technology (ICT) has become a core part of every business. As Bruce (1998) explains, IT has become a salient enabler of business strategies in areas of mass customization, competitive differentiation, quality improvements, and process automation and improvement. ICT affects the entire spectrum of retail, manufacturing, service, defense, and military institutions. ICT provides critical support for the developed economies through support of civil infrastructure, public safety, and national security. Nowadays, organizations operate in a dynamic, fast-changing environment due to a number of factors, such as technical innovations, new and creative ideas, strategic alliances, acquisitions and mergers and a culture of continuous change (Ekstedt et al., 2005). On one hand, “The interconnectedness of economies, rapid dissemination of news, and improved access to communication and information of all types” via ICT has given more power to individuals and fostered globalization (Fritz, 2008). On the other hand, the information assets of organizations have been stored and exchanged mostly in a digital format, which makes these assets vulnerable. As Qu (2001) points out, these assets include the intellectual property, products, as well as classified and private information about business partners and customers. Modern business practices require that these assets have to be available, reliable and accessible by customers, employee and partners on-site and at a distance. The digital world in which these assets are stored (cyber-space) is as vulnerable to attacks, as it is accessible.

It is worse if these assets are of a military kind. Military information and communication infrastructure in cyberspace has become a vital part of modern warfare and therefore has to be trusted and resilient. For instance, companies involved in military hardware making are a potential target for cyber-attacks. The recent attack on “Mitsubishi Heavy” and other military hardware makers in Japan (Kelly et al., 2011) is a living example. The infection of U.S. unmanned vehicles operating in Afghanistan and other warzones is also alarming (Schachtman, 2011). The aim of planning, designing, and implementing ICT security best practices is not only to ensure the confidentiality and the integrity of the data produced and used, but also to sustain the availability of the Information Systems (IS) (Davies, 1986; Forcht, 1994; Pfleeger, 1997). Wars of the 21st century will be much different from older ones (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 1997). ICT will play a dual role in future wars; it will be beneficial and risky at the same time.

The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. The second (following) section relates to the background of the study, which reviews some of the recent studies relating to cyber war. The third section looks at the problem/research questions, while the fourth section states the research design and methodology adopted in the study; the exploration and selection of the suitable model and the numerical application of the model. The fifth section gives recommendations. The sixth section presents limitations and assumptions. The seventh section concluded the paper.

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