The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US intelligence Community report placed cyber at the top of global threats. Forensic studies reveal that several nations are undertaking offensive cyber operations that target private sector and military to support their foreign policy objectives.
New and sophisticated cyber threats are emerging every day. And the enemy is not necessarily the small cyber crime gang being pictured. Against military, hostile nation states are well-funded to conduct adverse operations. There is a lot to fear, such as rouge programs operating silently on military networks, devised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown enemy.
The military faces a variety of attacks that can cause serious damage to its operations; including malicious insiders, advanced persistent threats (APTs), keylogging attempts, kinetic attacks, supply chain corruption, big data theft, malware, Trojans, viruses and more.
The attacks could lead to the failure of military missiles, bombs and guns, or they can be directed against the military itself. Critical infrastructure could be disrupted, leading to food and ammunition shortages. The civilian population would also suffer from a full-scale cyberassault, which may cripple the communications infrastructure, financial networks, and power grids.
Much of the issues pertain to the relative lack of readiness of US military to withstand sustained cyber attacks. DoD (Department of Defense) networks and those belonging to the contractors have already suffered significant losses from cyber warfare because of inadequate security implementations.
Cyberspace is now a major part of virtually everything the military does in all domains of the battle space and its line of efforts. There is hardly any distinction to be made between events in the real world and events in cyberspace; they are tightly linked. The obvious targets for adversaries are inherently insecure technologies, networks, and architectures, which they aim to infect in an attempt to spy and gather information.
Another complex battle in the cyberspace is related to IP (intellectual property). Classified military data is being targeted on a daily basis, and the offense is far more nefarious than the few attacks on the military’s digital perimeters.
If left unaddressed, such attacks have the potential to erode the country’s technological edge. Therefore, the military personnel responsible for securing the sector’s operations in cyberspace need to step up their game to protect sensitive data against unauthorized access. Currently, systems may not be able to withstand modestly aggressive cyber attacks.
What can be done?
The current landscape reveals the notion that the military is in a permanent tail chase with adversaries. As a result, they need to develop a strong incident response based on a thorough understanding of the adversary’s capabilities, as well as implement robust cyber offensive measures.
The next step is to devise a plan that protects key endpoints of military data, but it’s worthless without enforcement. In organizations like the military, it can be easier to implement policy rules. For example, advanced encryption and maintenance of keys can help military protect its data from adversaries.
Perhaps the fundamental to any successful cyber defense strategy is a meaningful analysis and threat intelligence processing. Essentially, organizations with the most effective intelligence capabilities do well against cyber attacks.
Military and other sectors have the option to utilize Massive’s threat intelligence feeds in order to possess agile responsiveness against cyber threats. These feeds conduct analysis in real-time and around the clock, providing users with most relevant threat intelligence to feed their decision making and operational processes.