The Impact of Cyber-Physical Warfare on Global Human Security

The Impact of Cyber-Physical Warfare on Global Human Security

Bryson R. Payne (University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, USA) and Edward L. Mienie (University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJCWT.2019070103

Abstract

Cyber is deeply enmeshed and interwoven across national security, as evidenced by its inclusion in the national security policies of a growing number of OECD countries. But it is the impact of cyber across the other components of national and human security that remains to be sufficiently addressed at the national policy level, or in international standards of behavior with respect to cyberwarfare and hybrid conflict. In addition to standing on its own as a national security concern, cybersecurity impacts economic and trade security, ecological/environmental and biosecurity, energy and critical infrastructure security, food security, transportation, and public health, as well as communications, physical and even political security. This work examines the role of threats from cyberwarfare, hybrid conflict, and cyber-physical attacks across human security from a national and global perspective, makes near-term predictions about the future of cyberwarfare, and provides recommendations with respect to preparing for cyberwarfare and ongoing hybrid conflict.
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Background

In 1946, the US Army Ordinance Corps financed and developed the world’s first true reprogrammable computer. Intelligence showed a keen interest, and in 1952, President Harry Truman established the National Security Agency who in turn became a major investor in and customer of computers. In 1985, NSA merged with the National Computer Security Center to house the world’s single largest group of supercomputers (National Research Council, 1990).

In the 1960s, Cray Data Corporation first introduced supercomputers and could process 33 quadrillion floating-point operations per second. At a price tag of $500,000 apiece, this placed Cray in the hands of well-funded governments and a handful of very large corporations and banks. Today, NSA’s latest facility at Fort Meade houses one of three High-Performance Computing Centers, each with their own 150-megawatt power substation providing 60 megawatts of electricity. Each center comes at a price tag of $3.2 Billion. The British NSA equivalent, GCHQ, has remained in step with the digital revolution, as have the other members of the UN Security Council. Similarly, digital intelligence is very high on the Chinese list of national priorities.

With real-time digital intelligence now available, the Intelligence Community (IC) has accepted that it is here to stay. There is a school of thought that the traditional intelligence cycle approach (Tasking, Processing, Evaluation, and Dissemination) is too slow. Digital intelligence is revolutionizing the way intelligence does business. The IC now needs algorithms and applications to work on data and provide recommendations in order to keep pace with open-source media.

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