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  • Louisiana Air Guard steps into the cyber game with help from the Air Force Cyber College

    A recent visit to the 159 Fighter Wing of the Louisiana Air National Guard provided guidance from the faculty of the Air Force Cyber College. The topic of discussion was the new joint Cyber Mission Assurance Teams (CMAT) that other states are beginning to deploy, and Louisiana wishes to emulate. “Working for each state’s governor, the National Guard has 3 states (Washington, Ohio, Hawaii) currently that are building these new joint Cyber Mission Assurance Teams. Louisiana wants to be the fourth state to add this capability,” says Col Tony Franks of the Air Force Cyber College. The National Guard Bureau has a pilot (prototype) program, building each state’s cyber military capability to respond to domestic instances of cyber intrusions or interruptions to critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure includes banking, telecommunications, power, water supply, and treatment facilities that each state possesses. The Air Force Cyber College also visited with the local Mission Defense Team (MDTs). The Air Force has been building these new MDTs for the last 4 years to give base units a capability to provide a localized cyber defense. Col Tony Franks, from the Air Force Cyber College, provided consulting as well as a cyber brief to the Louisiana Air National Guard leadership, including their Assistant Adjutant General and staff. The 159th Wing Commander, Group Commanders, as well as Squadron Commanders and Chiefs, were in attendance. This briefing spelled out the dangers currently facing AF weapon systems and aircraft across the enterprise as well as what the AF is doing to build a better integrated cyber defense force and capability.

    As with all facets of life, the United States healthcare system has experienced a massive influx of networked and IT enabled devices designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of patient care. Hospitals today average 10-15 networked devices per bed. As more networked devices are added, either wired or wireless, a patient’s care and personal data faces ever increasing threats and the possibility of physical harm or identity theft grows. Healthcare providers must choose to prioritize patient safety or securing patient data or at least they think they have to choose. Devices can be manipulated remotely by hackers, causing patient devices to act in manners not intended. Alternatively, data can also be manipulated to cause injury. Based on these safety and security issues, what strategies should the Air Force adopt to prevent threats and vulnerabilities to healthcare devices and patient data to ensure patient safety? This paper will frame the problem, define the risks, describe the current strategy, and then provide recommendations for strategy changes to protect patients and their data in order to prevent loss of life. Technology has led to hyper-connectivity which increases speed and efficiency of medical care, but also elevates the risk. Hyper-connectivity leads to numerous threats in the healthcare industry, and “there’s no muzzle flash with a laptop.”1 By building a culture of cyber security awareness within hospitals, sharing data on known threats with medical communities, and the ability to extensively test and evaluate new technology for security flaws, modern medicine can move securely into the future.
  • Cybersecurity Intelligence Support To Weapon System Acquisition

    Historically, system developers did not adequately consider and address cybersecurity threats. With the technologies of today, the potential for intrusion into our weapon systems is a daily concern. To assist in identifying the future impacts to our weapon systems we must better understand this issue and the effects to our national security. Recognizing new and emerging cyber threats to weapon systems we argue that timely and accurate intelligence, through continuous communication among the intelligence, communication, and acquisition communities, in the area of cybersecurity is vital to the weapon systems acquisition process. With current and emerging cyber threats continuing to proliferate, the ability to bring together the intelligence, communication and acquisition communities to consider growing cybersecurity needs is imperative. We argue that through collaborative coordination among the intelligence, communication, and acquisition communities, the Department of Defense (DOD) can insert identified critical information into the weapon system acquisition process. We recommend that the DOD implement new policies and revise guidance to assist in informing, managing, and mitigating cybersecurity threats to weapon systems.
  • ISR and Cyberspace

    IntroductionThe Air Force conducts its core mission of global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in and through cyberspace. This new domain represents an ever-expanding source of intelligence data vital to the full range of joint military operations. At the same time, cyberspace represents new avenues to apply force
  • Cyberlaw and Policy

    IntroductionCyber capabilities have opened an entirely new area of warfare. It has been called a revolution in military affairs—evolutionary technological development, and associated tactical and strategic change, altering the character of war.1 Many of the same law-of-war issues exist in cyber operations as in traditional military operations.
  • Blockchain Technology

    Blockchains are a new information technology that have the potential to invert the cybersecurity paradigm. First, blockchain networks are trustless: they assume compromise of the network by both insiders and outsiders. Second, blockchains are transparently secure: they do not rely on failure-prone secrets but rather on a cryptographic data
  • 50 Cyber Questions Every Airman Can Answer

    1. What is the mission of the US Air Force?The mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests—to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.2. What is cyberspace?Author William Gibson coined the term by combining cybernetics and space into the
  • The Future of Things Cyber

    Years ago, when I was an ROTC instructor, the first unit of instruction for rising juniors dealt with communication skills. Near the beginning of the unit, I would quote Confucius to my new students: "The rectification of names is the most important business of government. If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth
  • Four Axioms of Offensive Cyberpower

    Offensive cyberpower is a dark art of manipulating computer logic, misdirection, and deception. We do not use the term cyberpower broadly herein. We differentiate it from all the obvious benefits of employing computers and network technology to compute, store, and transmit information, or what we might think of as the intended uses by the owners
  • Claiming the Lost Cyber Heritage

    The Air Force ensures that newer generations of Airmen learn through the vicarious experiences of those who have gone before them. They are taught to admire Eddie Rickenbacker and Billy Mitchell, and cadets and officers are tested to ensure they understand the lessons from Big Week, MiG Alley, and Rolling Thunder to Iraqi Freedom. Understanding
  • Air University cyber team places 2nd in Geneva competition

    A team of Air University cyber students placed second in the European leg of the 2017 “Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge” competition co-hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Atlantic Council.Team “Keep Calm and Cyber On” was pitted against 23 teams from Europe, Asia and North America in the two-day competition in Geneva, April
  • Airpower Lessons for an Air Force Cyber-Power Targeting Theory

    Cyber targeting and associated doctrine should be the center of Air Force cyber strategy and its plans to organize, train, and equip a force for full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Understanding what targets cyber operations can affect is critical to deliberate planning or crisis planning. This paper attempts to draw parallels to early airpower
  • Social Media The Fastest Growing Vulnerability to the Air Force Mission

    The inherent risks and vulnerabilities of the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have cultivated a rich and ripe environment for foreign adversaries and criminals to cherry-pick personal information about Airmen and their missions for nefarious activities. FBI guidance encourages users to reduce their online
  • The Achievable Multinational Cyber Treaty Strengthening Our Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

    Developing cyber norms and institutions has been problematic due to the competing interests of the major state actors in the multinational environment—especially among Russia, China, and the United States—concerning information freedom and access. The author establishes the genesis of this debate and argues that the United States should move beyond
  • Cyber Workforce Retention

    The US Air Force must develop strategies to effectively retain and sustainably build its workforce of 1B4 cyber Airmen. Doing so will be most critical in the next few years as the Air Force continues to increase its contribution to the nation’s cyber mission forces. This study overviews the current cybersecurity human capital environment and
  • Cyber Opportunities Forum for Understanding Cybersecurity

    The Cyber Opportunities Forum is designed for leaders who currently serve in, have an interest in, or may have the need to develop cyber strategies. Technical expertise is not needed, but attendees must possess sufficient intellectual curiosity to be receptive to new ideas and new approaches to understanding national security.This series examines
  • The Human Side of Cyber Conflict: Organizing, Training, and Equipping the Air Force Cyber Workforce

    The chief of staff of the Air Force tasked the AirForce Research Institute (AFRI) to review the training and developmentof the USAF cyber forces to take stock of current Air Force cyberforce development. AFRI was to determine whether structuralchanges were required to ensure the successful organizing, training,and equipping of the Air Force’s cyber
  • Designing Cybersecurity into Defense Systems: An Information Economics Approach

    Hackers have compromised the designs of numerous major US weapon systems. Safeguarding mission-critical systems requires effective network security and secure firmware and software. To achieve this, the US Defense Department should carefully screen contractors based on their past cybersecurity prowess and provide incentives for them to produce and
  • Welcome to the Air Force Cyber College

    The Air Force’s airpower heritage lies in its innovative past that began with the development of the Air Corp Tactical School (ACTS). The ACTS brought together innovative practitioners and strategic thinkers to explore, develop, and mature airpower concepts and ideas. Today, an analogous opportunity presents itself with the cyberspace domain and
  • About the Air Force Cyber College

    Context of the NeedThe ability to disrupt United States military operations has long been hypothesized as an asymmetric challenge adversaries are likely to pursue. This is now reality as evidenced by the growing quantity and intensity of malicious incidents ranging from espionage to physical effects in, through and by means of cyberspace. The

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