Not long ago, I was inspired by this past summer’s LandWarNet Conference to develop what I thought the military knowledgebase dashboard of the future might look like. I had heard our senior military leaders call for the Army cyber warrior of the future to defend our nation against the increasing number of cyber attacks — someone who is a real geek, but also capable of the patriotism and discipline required for military life and a high-level security clearance.

My friend and professional colleague, Arun Majumdar, Cutter Consortium, and a panelist at the recent CyberSecurity Conference, brought this point home. He talked about the notion of need for offensive capabilities and the implications of the Stuxnet worm as a well-known example of how an offensive capability can be used to inflict targeted damage on critical infrastructure.

But in the larger world of sophisticated cyber operations the offense seeks more often than not to hide its hand so that victims never know that they have been “owned.”

From attacks on critical infrastructure to theft of valuable intellectual property and classified government information, malicious operatives of all kinds are on the march. What are the greatest offensive threats and what can be done to fend them off before it’s too late?

I looked around for some definitive Web sites on Army Cyber Security for my knowledgebase dashboard and found a variety of them; but also realized how scattered about this information is.

For instance, I found: Army Cyber Command and the West Point Center for Counterterrorism. I also recalled that I had written previously about Recorded Future to Speculate About Future Cyber Events and their Open Source Intelligence Blog. Details of that earlier work are presented elsewhere.

So I quickly built 10 Web site data sets in Web linked data format in a spreadsheet and imported them into my dashboard tool and organized it as though I was a Army cyber warrior of the future on the lookout for threats. Of course in reality those data sets would be highly classified and the public would not see them and the dashboard.

This dashboard shows the following:

  • My LandWarNet 2011 Conference and the Recorded Future: Cyber Crime Speculation Knowledgebases on the first page
  • The Official Homepage of the US Army with References and A-Z Index on the second page
  • The U.S. Army Cyber Command Home Page with Cyber Chatter and Site Map on the third page and
  • the West Point Combating Terrorism Center Home Page and List of Experts on the fourth page.

Now imagine I am asked a question and need to provide an immediate answer and/or link to a authoritative source of information or expert? I can see, sort, search, download, and share (e.g. iPad) everything in my dashboard. I can also link to data sets and databases that other cyber warriors give me access to from their dashboards and include them in my dashboard.

Finally, I can produce a PowerPoint or Web Player presentation of my dashboard for briefing senior military leaders and the warfighters in the combat zone.

I hope this article will peak the interest of the patriotic and trustworthy geeks out there to become Army Cyber Warriors – if so here is where you can join the fight to save our country from this threat.