About the speaker:
Dr. Linton Wells II brings more than twenty years of civilian leadership experience in national security affairs. He is particularly familiar with cybersecurity issues, networked capabilities, and the uses of technology, media and data in defense environments, having served as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration (ASD NII) and Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer (CIO). Other senior positions have been related to Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), and the interface between policy and technology.
As Assistant Secretary (acting) and DoD CIO he oversaw the Defense Department’s $30 billion budget for information technology and related areas and was responsible for enhancing DoD’s networked capabilities and support structures.
His present work includes cross-domain synergy – the convergence of cyber, electromagnetic warfare and space; building resilience to national and man-made disasters; critical infrastructure protection; smart cities; and big data analytics.
Some consider cyberspace as the fifth dimension of warfare—on the same level as land, sea, air and space. This has significant implications. Practitioners of warfare in cyberspace must balance three often-conflicting sets of concerns: offence vs. defense, civilian vs. military, and technology vs. policy. Many traditional concepts of war, such as proportionality, attribution, and mutually assured destruction do not apply well to state-vs-state cyberspace activities.
The ability of non-state actors to conduct effective cyber attacks adds new risks. Offensive cyberspace activities can have widespread impacts, but they also can be very focused, which makes their use more likely. Dual-use infrastructures make it hard to separate civilian targets from military ones and to estimate collateral damage. The difficulty in identifying online attackers complicates traditional calculations regarding risk and retaliation.
Cyberspace forces must be organized, trained and equipped to conduct non-traditional missions involving rapidly changing equipment, personnel skills that are in high demand in the private sector, and difficult policy, ethical, and moral questions. Since cyberspace tools can manipulate most electromagnetic sensors and information processors they have the potential to dominate operational decisions and actions in all domains. They also are very well suited to hybrid warfare. Legal issues abound. The Law of Armed Conflict applies to cyberspace, but with important ambiguities that need to be resolved. Also, without common international “rules of the road” for cyber espionage, large scale collection activities accidentally could escalate into full-fledged cyber war.
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Ms Sobana Bala
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