The Cyber Secure Institute has published a white paper authored by retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger titled “Cyberwar and Cyberterrorism: The Need for a New U.S. Strategic Approach.” The paper highlights a number of threats and vulnerabilities facing the US and calls for a new approach to ward off attacks in cyberspace.
Gen. Habiger draws 10 significant conclusions in his paper, including:
1) Our nation’s vital public and private IT systems are so vulnerable they invite attack.
2) America is routinely the victim of nation-state driven cyber intrusions that can be seen as low-grade cyber-border conflicts.
3) Some of these attacks have crossed a critical line: They have compromised critical systems supporting our troops engaged in combat.
4) Our failure to proactively address these threats risks a digital Pearl Harbor or 9-11.
5) Deterrence by retribution and preemption, our nation’s core national security strategies, are of limited value against cyber war and cyber terror threats—“these rotary-phone-era strategies are not well suited for today’s digital world.”
6) A new approach based upon deterrence by denial is needed.
7) Achieving effective cyber deterrence by denial, or defense in-depth, will require nothing short of a total paradigm shift from both government and the private sector.
8) Across both the public and private sector we must deploy inherently secure technologies, tested and certified secure against sophisticated attacks.
9) The private sector must look beyond the balance sheet and focus on our national interests—and if need be the government must force this change.
10) We must educate the American people about the importance of cybersecurity and drive behavioral change.
Habiger is the former commander in chief of U.S Strategic Command and served as the former DOE “security czar.”
The paper can be viewed here