The Cyber Defense Review

Fighting Alone is called Losing: The Unlearned Lessons of Fragmented Systems

By | December 22, 2021

Cyberspace is a man-made, contested, and competitive domain that is continuously evolving and adapting at speeds and scales difficult to comprehend or imagine. While hardware is geographically located in a physical layer somewhere on earth or in space, the software and data can move freely in a logical layer unless otherwise constrained. The result is a global surface that requires a globally coordinated defense by a global team. Therefore, within the context of cyberspace, the idea of "defending alone" seems ludicrous. Yet, that is exactly how people, firms, and governments have been left alone to approach cybersecurity. As noted in his comments on the SolarWinds hack in March 2021, General Paul Nakasone, the commander of the United States Cyber Command stated that, "[I]t’s not that you can’t connect the dots. You can’t see all the dots. And when defenders can’t see all the dots, security gaps and breaches happen." Ultimately, the cyber domain’s primary lesson is that leaving everyone to defend alone leaves everyone to lose.

 

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