A report by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance warns that the U.S. must develop cyber intelligence as a new and better coordinated government discipline.
The white paper titled, “Intelligence to Protect the Homeland: Taking stock ten years later and looking ahead,” examines what has been learned in the ten years since 9/11 and what is needed from the intelligence community in order to protect the U.S. from future attacks.
The report indicates there has been a dramatic expansion of sophisticated cyber attacks moving beyond acceptable losses for government and businesses and comes amid growing worries that the U.S. is still ill prepared for major cyber attacks.
“The continuing threat to the homeland is serious. Terrorists continue to seek WMD, cyber and conventional capabilities to do us harm,” said Fran Townsend INSA Chairwoman of the Board. “In addition, terrorism threats are complex and adaptive; thus, our response must be equally adaptive while being agile, resilient, and highly collaborative in order to disrupt the terrorists’ decision cycle. It falls to the Intelligence Community, law enforcement at all levels, and other non-traditional partners to produce the homeland security intelligence that will protect our nation and still preserve our liberties. We have made improvements at this complex task over the past ten years and we are determined to continue strengthening our capabilities.”
INSA’s report suggests that we are in need of an adoption of a common definition for Homeland Security Intelligence to ensure better research and decision making, as well as a departure from the top-down hierarchical model and move toward an integrated system of intelligence among federal, state, local, tribal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Observations from this report are similar to sentiments expressed by Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security officials. However, efforts for cybersecurity legislature have been stalled.
The report lays out the growing threats from other nations that could provide grounds for cybercriminals and hackers to emerge while also advising the U.S. to be wary of outsourcing computer design since it is a vulnerability to adversaries.
The INSA finds that cyber intelligence should better coordinate among government agencies as well as with the private sector. The full report can downloaded on INSA’s website.