Challenges in the Protection of US Critical Infrastructure in the Cyber Realm   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the abstract: "This paper evaluates the US military participation in the arena of domestic cyber security for critical infrastructure protection. The issue is relevant for two major reasons. First, it deals with the current phenomena of continuous cyber attacks on US critical infrastructure, which dominates the discussion of potential future and global threats to the United States. Second, the US is trying to cope with current challenges to cyber security with military means, which is sparking academic and political debate. The latter relevance comprises the main argument of this study, that a military approach to cyber security is not the best choice. Generally, critical infrastructure protection is inherently civil related. Other factors to consider are Presidential Directives and US cyber strategies, which assigned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to organizing, synchronizing, and executing critical infrastructure protection for the homeland. Nonetheless, the US military is deeply involved in domestic affairs regarding cyber security. Numerous reasons create this curious reality. Ill-defined and unclear classifications of the variety of cyber attacks make almost everything appear as an undifferentiated hazard. Cyber hype, largely a product of efforts by the information technology industry, only serves to add to the contemporary misperception of cyber threats. Terms of cyber related issues are often militarized, over emphasized, and undifferentiated. The resulting confusion produced inadequate domestic cyber security efforts, insufficient public-private cooperation, and a turn to the military for leadership. This absorption of DHS related fields of actions by the Department of Defense are questionable in two respects: constitutionally power-sharing principles prohibit the military from policing inside of the United States and the militarization of cyber security may hamper the necessary public-private cooperation for domestic cyber security."

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