Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard AprMay 2017

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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cYBersecurItY c 20 APRIL/MAY 2017 by nicholas scheurkogel Cyber is The mosT signifiCanT single ThreaT To CurrenT and fuTure iT-enabled weapons plaTforms This powerful statement is oen repeated across the defence in- dustry, and within the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF); because of that repetition over the last few years, many have come to believe that it is true. Why would it not be true? Computer hackers and foreign states can ma- nipulate vulnerabilities in the programing of platforms to exploit ships, aircra, armoured vehicles and body cameras on soldiers. Through cyber, it is possible to disable whole fleets of ships, force all drones to fall from the sky, and to manipulate the supply chain of key weapons platforms so that the mission fails just at the right time! What an adversary can do with their advanced cyber capa- bilities is endless and limited only their imagination. … or is it? i s cyber the most significant threat? Is what adversaries can do with cyber endless and limited only by their imagination? Can an advanced adversary use cyber attacks to affect systems at the time and place of their choos- ing? There are a number of misconceptions that are commonly found in cyber-related discussions concerning the battlefield that are the basis for how cyber threats are mis- characterized. This mischaracterization of- ten leads to the development of conceptual frameworks and outcomes that adversely impact the interests of the DND/CAF and the Defence Contactor Industry. Examples include the incorrect application of security controls for Information Technology (IT), the disruption of major projects, a reduc- tion in operating capability, and an overall increase in the complexity of engineering efforts. These outcomes are caused by con- fusion between what is possible and what is likely, the application of corporate IT standards into the military environment, a false correlation between the value of the asset and the volume of required security measures, and finally, underestimating the scope, scale, and speed of possible cyber targets on the battlefield. The question that will be explored in this article is simple: How do we approach framing and understanding the cyber threat with respect to engineering weapon systems and information-driven combat systems? As hinted above, the solution is not to be fear- ful of the unknown or to apply frameworks that do not represent the reality of how offensive and defensive cyber operations work. The proposed approach is to under- stand – and consider – key factors that will define the capabilities, intents, and oppor- tunities available to any attacker. Key Factors The classical view of threat is a combina- tion of adversary intent, capability, and likelihood. This overall model is com- pletely valid within the cyber environment as people and human motivations are al- ways involved. Actions take planning, re- sources, and time that no adversary can afford to waste. Therefore, when deter- mining the threat to a specific system, the methodological approach must consider those factors that realistically influence the adversary's ability or motivation to attempt some type of cyber attack, which is centered squarely on the basic concept of return on investment (ROI). Is the in-

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