Attack or Defend? Leveraging Information and Balancing Risk in Cyberspace

In his article, “Attack or Defend? Leveraging Information and Balancing Risk in Cyberspace,” Dennis Murphy discusses the Department of Defense’s policy toward the Internet, which enables opportunities to counter misinformation online and tell the story of the U.S. military. He questions, however, if organizational culture will embrace this approach.Murphy, a professor of Information Operations and Information in Warfare at the U.S. Army War College and retired U.S. Army colonel, notes the government must consider the use of the Internet by a potential adversary in future warfighting challenges. Although military leaders openly regard the importance of using new media and Internet tools, recent Defense Department policy directs commanders to continue to carefully monitor online behaviors.
Murphy recommends that leaders manage risk online while exploiting emerging cyber capabilities. Specifically, managing risk while providing the opportunity to engage effectively and exploit online opportunities requires a rebalancing of command philosophy, Murphy says. This can happen when commanders become more open to opportunities as they remain aware of threats – and let leaders at all levels do their job.
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3 thoughts on “Attack or Defend? Leveraging Information and Balancing Risk in Cyberspace

  1. Renee – Correction to my previous comment. My apologies. I did not look at the byline on the post and presumed Matt had authored it.

  2. Matt – Dennis need not question if “organizational culture will embrace this approach” – I already have ample evidence that many cultures will not. Anecdotally, I suspect that those unwilling to embrace the changes vastly exceed the willing.One only has to read about my experience to see just how far status quo defenders will go in order to prevent change.
    I was hired to facilitate the Army’s transition from printed to electronic development, management and distribution of doctrinal publications. I suspect that position was created to give GEN Dempsey the perception that my organization at Fort Leavenworth were moving out on his vision of milWiki and using the entire Army’s resources to capture knowledge and apply crowdsourcing theory to doctrine development.
    In hindsight, I firmly believe they (my former organization) was merely pacifying him. They created a complex job position and never expected it to succeed. When it looked like I was obtaining results and “moving the ball forward” they fired me and eliminated the position.
    On multiple occasions my supervisors stated that they were just “waiting Dempsey out” and that the next TRADOC Commander would have a different priority. Mutiny by delay and inaction may be passive, but it is still mutiny!

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