Date of this Version
Journal of Strategic Security 8, no. 4 (2015): : 1-22.
The National Guard is establishing Cyber Mission Teams (CMT) that will fulfill a federal role to backfill active duty defending Department of Defense networks, but are also exploring how they could effectively fulfill state missions. The President, Council of Governors, and USCYBERCOM Commander have expressed concerns about U.S. critical infrastructure cyber network vulnerabilities and the increasing magnitude of threat our adversaries pose to those networks’ security. This article explores using this emerging National Guard capability in a state role for protection of critical infrastructure cyber networks. Most of the critical infrastructure is privately owned. Although current executive orders and policy mandate government sharing of cyber threat information, private providers’ reciprocation of sharing their vulnerabilities is voluntary. This article contends that effective cyber defense requires strong private-public partnerships. We developed a critical infrastructure cyber defense model based upon key characteristics from the literature on private-public partnerships and performed a case study of current cyber defense partnerships to validate the model. Our research shows this model to be a useful guide for emerging National Guard Cyber Mission Forces to consider when establishing partnerships for effective critical infrastructure cyber defense.