Communication Breakdown: DHS Operations During a Cyber Attack   [open pdf - 414KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leverages information technology to increase the effectiveness of first responders during disaster recovery. At the same time, cyber attacks against these information technologies have significantly increased. Unfortunately, cyber attacks have grown faster than the technologies used to defend them. The reliance on technology coupled with the difficulty of defending it makes it unrealistic to assume that communications will always be available when needed. Therefore, it is critical that first responders are prepared to operate when one or some of their communications abilities are lost. Alarmingly, DHS has the responsibility to prepare first responders to operate during disasters; however, they lack the authority to enforce programs to ensure this happens. This lack of authority affects how first responders communicate and provides gaps in DHS efforts to prepare for disasters. Until DHS has the authority to enforce change across all levels of government, communications will not be guaranteed during disaster recovery operations. However, DHS could leverage communication outages during operational exercises to better prepare first responders. This thesis explores DHS exercises on the federal, state and local levels and how they are preparing first responders to operate through cyber attacks."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
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Listed on February 9, 2011 [Critical Releases]