Information Sharing Challenges in Government Cybersecurity Organizations

Information Sharing Challenges in Government Cybersecurity Organizations

Quinn E. Lanzendorfer (Robert Morris University, Moon, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2020010103
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Cyber-attacks happen faster and more spontaneously than traditional warfare. This cyber landscape offers new challenges to organizations due to its unique nature. Building organizations to defend against cyber terrorism and innovating offensive solutions calls for strong information sharing amongst government and military organizations, as well as industry partners. Using an innovative electronic method to collect quantitative and qualitative data from experts, this study seeks to explore the effectiveness and establishment of information sharing practices and procedures in U.S. government cybersecurity organizations. This study also considers the impact of media leaks and terrorism on information sharing practices and procedures.
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Research Questions

  • RQ1: Are information sharing practices well-established in USG cybersecurity organizations?

  • RQ2: Do industry partners that provide products and services to USG cybersecurity organizations have and use effective information sharing processes to communicate needs with the USG and other industry partners?

  • RQ3: Have media leaks and the fading of lessons-learned from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had a negative impact on information sharing in USG cybersecurity organizations?


Literature Review

Cyberspace is the fifth and most recent domain of warfare (Schreier, 2015). The established domains of warfare that precede cyberspace are land, sea, air, and space (Schreier, 2015). The Defense Science Board (2013) defines cyber as term used to “address the components and systems that provide all digital information, including weapons/ battle management systems, information technology systems, hardware, processors, and software operating systems and applications, both standalone and embedded”.

Cyberspace is “composed of the now two billion computers existing, plus servers, routers, switches, fiber-optic cables, and wireless communications that allow critical infrastructures to work” (Schreier, 2015). Cyberspace is “increasingly used as a theater of conflict as political, economic, and military conflicts are ever more often mirrored by a parallel campaign of hostile actions on the internet [sic]” (Schreier, 2015). Cyberspace lacks an identity when compared to the other domains of warfare. Cyberspace “is not a physical place–it defies measurement in any physical dimension or time space continuum” (Wingfield, 2000). The cyberspace domain of warfare lacks both physicality and identity (Wingfield, 2000). Cyberspace is defined as “a global domain within the information environment whose distinctive and unique character is framed by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to create, store, modify, exchange, and exploit information via interdependent and interconnected networks using information– communication technologies” (Kuehl, 2009).

The weapons of warfare were once under the exclusive control of internationally responsible states (D'Souza, 2011). The importance of cyber warfare is that it's very different than what we're used to. Cyber-attacks could disable power generators, cut off the military command, control and communication systems, cause trains to derail and airplanes to crash, nuclear reactors to melt down, pipelines to explode, and weapons to malfunction (D'Souza, 2011). Unique coalitions between nations and industry partners will be needed more than ever before and it will be difficult to establish whether cyber-attacks have been conducted by specific state and non-state actors (McNeil, 2010). While acts of war have yet to happen on the Internet, the traditional ways of warfare, policy, and treaties may no longer apply (Kirsch, 2012).

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