By Marc Kahlberg
There is no longer any doubt that the use of computer technology is being misused in order to disrupt national organizations and the infrastructure thereof. The deliberate attacking of information systems for strategic or military purposes in an age where all government agencies and organizations within various countries national security infrastructure must be able to detect, delay, deter and defend against all computer related threats.
They must have a holistic hands on approach that includes a solid concept and strategy to deliver remedies in defeating and defending against such disruption by using a strategic self- defense methodology of offensive campaigns that have no marked borders against aggressors.
The University of Amsterdam mentioned in a special report that “Cyberwarfare or otherwise known Internet-based conflicts involving politically motivated attacks on information and information systems that are able to disable official websites and networks, disrupt or disable essential services, steal or alter classified data, and cripple financial systems”. It is needless to mention that these very attacks can easily disrupt and interfere in any“digital army” – amongst many other possibilities. The rules of military engagement are changing and certainly becoming not only more dangerous but definable much more difficult to detect.
“Know thy Enemy” – The US FBI Director, James Comeyrecently stated that an element of almost every national security threat and crime problem the FBI faces is cyber based or facilitated. The world today faces threats from state sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, organized cyber syndicates and terrorists. His statement comes at a time where suspicions of wiretaps and possibly hacks may have been carried out by one US President against a candidate and now current US President. Where denials, fake news, political interference and manipulations dominate one of the world’s largest electronic media news outlet, “CNN”, the uncertainty of reality is becoming unreal.
The revolutionary phases through which the cybernetic world has progressed since its inception in the early 1980s to this day is a technological breakthrough of future historical change. There is no doubt that cyber intelligence has become a leading and most important subject matter in the inner most echelons of military and indeed law enforcement circles around the globe.
Human intelligence and personnel will always be the most valuable factor in any intelligence community. People need to be aware of the threats posed by, and the opportunities offered by cyber, but they also need to constantly be educated, skilled and trained. If governments, armed forces, law enforcement and other agencies are to achieve their ambitions, every soldier and police officer needs to have at least some basic cyber knowledge awareness and minimal skills. The real cyber warriors, those who are on the virtual battlefields, need to be the best in their field of expertise. Of course technology is just as important. One can only play a real active role in the cyber domain with the newest technology and the newest tools available.
In defining Cyber Information vs Cyber Intelligence one should understand that all Intelligence agencies have always been engaged in espionage, monitoring, surveillance and other innovative concepts of collecting information. The speed of global development of computer technology and Internet accessibility created a situation where intelligence agencies became compelled to hack into computers in order to accomplish their classic mission only faster and more accurately with much less logistical and physical efforts.
In order to stay ahead and fulfill classic functions, hacking techniques were and are adopted. In a frenzy of industry related “gold rushes” companies designed and developed cybersecurity software to enforce a false sense of information security that evolved for the purpose of trying to protect the information stored in computers.
In developing the future steps integrating and the build-up of cyber intelligence power, the cooperation between industry, academia and national security organs including education to the resolution of exportation issues, establishment of critical and strategic national infrastructures and regulation must be coordinated and fused while all the time defining the parameters of intelligence circulation and dissemination.
As the future becomes closer we face challenges where cyber security will no longer be an objective in itself. Cybersecurity technology and intelligence must define the direction for infrastructure and skilled human resources for an era of a well versed and well protected fusion –key to any digital army.
As Israel appears to be dealing with the cyber threat in advanced ways consistent with its general national security concept, and seemingly always advancing and ongoing measures are proactively taken as time goes on. In being proactive the author emphasizes on creating and cooperation between the different security agencies leading cyber defense and intelligence so as to establish an optimal national policy for cyber defense and deterrence while determining what national internal preparations must be made to ensure the smooth flow of cyber intelligence and defining the information from the intelligence.
The author is the CEO and Managing Director of the Vital Intelligence Group
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