Achieving Agility in Cyberspace

Title: Achieving Agility in Cyberspace
Authors: Boxer, P. Morris, E., Anderson, W.
Where published: 10th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference Proceedings

In response to the growing capabilities of potential adversaries, the U.S. Air Force is chartering USAF Cyber Command, with the intent of achieving full operational capability in 2009. Cyber Command will face several unique challenges, including:
1. Dissolution of traditional boundaries, requiring cyber command to work effectively and quickly with organizations outside of military boundaries.
2. Fluidity of cyber environments, so that the point of contact between U.S. and adversarial forces rapidly and continuously changes at cyberspace speeds.
Ultimately, the goal of both U.S. and adversarial forces is to achieve asymmetric advantage between what they present as a challenge to the opposition force and what the opposition force expects. The key to fighting in cyberspace will be the ability to rapidly adapt to defensive imperatives and offensive opportunities within these cyber environments. These environments will present unique challenges and demand particular and context-specific responses orchestrated and composed across systems of systems. Put another way, the key for cyberspace warfighters is agility in both identifying and selecting appropriate technologies and organizational structures, and then deploying them in the particular ways demanded to achieve desired effects.
This presentation will discuss the forms of governance needed by Cyber Command to achieve three forms of agility:
(i) operating within Cyber Command to achieve optimal use of its resources,
(ii) coordinating relationships with identified partners to meet anticipated forms of threat, and
(iii) enabling Cyber Command to adapt and take advantage of rapidly emerging threats and opportunities in unanticipated situations.
The key to these lies is in achieving the third form of agility, which involves generating situationally-specific understanding of threats as well as being able to command the requisite responses for each particular situation. The presentation will discuss the governance principles crucial to enabling Cyber Command achieve agility of the third kind.

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