Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there have been radical measures to transform the operations of security agencies so that they can be able to deal with the emerging threats of the 21st century. The combination of 22 government agencies resulted in the formation the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS is required to establish a formidable force that can deal with the rising incidences of cybercrime. The cyberspace is an entity that interfaces with every sphere of the American nation about both people and systems (Lewis, 2005). Every aspect of the national economy, social fabric and the infrastructure is now connected to the internet backbone. Lately, there have been calls to improve the functionality of DHS. The following objectives will be used to gauge the agencys ability to deal with homeland cyber security issues (Knake, 2014).
The first objective is to find out the clarity of tasks and responsibilities required of the members tasked with handling cyber security issues. In this objective, tabletop exercises will be arranged to assess the levels of organization among the workforce. As the threat of cyber security increases in the nation, it is crucial to ensure the people tasked with the responsibility of securing the nations systems and infrastructure are performing at their optimal level. Members of the team will be required to have candid discussions, preferably in a formal setting, that will generate the necessary feedback concerning issues such as the responsiveness to cyber-attacks as well as their role in the future of the organization (Lewis, 2005). Another objective will be to determine the perceptions of the human resource personnel with regard to the future of the DHS about the fight against cyber attacks. At the moment, there are fears that the DHS is unable to handle the new security issues that have plagued the nations infrastructure. As it is with most government departments, implementation of set goals and targets can be a rather slow process that is at times reactionary. The objective is to ascertain the relevance of the critical strategies that have been given priority by the agency in the fight against cyber attacks. In this objective, discussions will also take on a benchmarking perspective, whereby security agents will compare and contrast the operations of other government agencies in their fight against cyber insecurity (Knake, 2014).
Systems thinking requires one to appreciate the critical role of other systems and factors beyond ones reach and control. When it comes to the fighting insecurity at any level, it is crucial for government bodies to collaborate as effectively as possible to ensure the security status of the nation is intact. As such, a third objective will be to evaluate the ability of the DHS to collaborate effectively with other government bodies in the eventuality that there is a cyber attack (Heritage Website, 2015). The DHS, as a government body, will always find that it has a shortage of the best skilled workforce when it comes to dealing with cybercrime. To ensure the best possible results, it is advisable that it reaches to the skilled labor force in the private sector. In this instance, a functional exercise will be organized that will, in essence, simulate a cyber attack. The objective of a simulated attack is to observe the capacity of the organization to validate its plans in such scenarios. The simulated attack will also be a good opportunity to observe the way the DHS can effectively collaborate with other agencies to access critical information in that setting (Heritage Website, 2015).
Additionally, another functional exercise will also be conducted to assess the response of human resource workers if the DHS system has been compromised. At the moment, the levels of cyber-attacks have substantially increased both in severity as well as complexity. The systems that DHS uses to run its programs are usually prime targets for attackers in the dark web; thus, it is essential to ensure the organization has the necessary systems and procedures that can be used to protect crucial resources and information of the department and the state (Storm, 2016). The functional exercise will also be used to analyze the capacity of the organization to weed out any perceived moles from within the organization since the exercise will have been originated from within the system itself. A top security agency should have the capacity to deal with any form of attack and have the ability to react appropriately to such eventualities.
The final objective is to design a full-scale exercise that will essentially mimic a real-time attack on the systems. The objective of this task will be to ensure the members of the organization act according to the required standards and requirements stipulated in the organizations guidelines. Such an exercise will involve the functionality of other organizations, preferably local businesses in the particular area. The exercise will also test the organizations ability to deal with these emerging problems in cyber security. It is expected to be a lengthy exercise and will test its ability to deal with problems swiftly.
Heritage Website. (2015). Congress Should Refocus DHS on Crucial Cybersecurity Reforms. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/01/congress-should-refocus-dhs-on-crucial-cybersecurity-reforms
Knake, R. K. (2014). Internet governance in an age of cyber insecurity (No. 56). Council on Foreign Relations.
Lewis, J. A. (2005). Aux armes, citoyens: Cyber security and regulation in the United States. Telecommunications Policy, 29(11), 821-830.
Storm, D. (2016). 10 yrs later, DHS still plagued with cybersecurity, critical infrastructure problems. Computerworld. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://www.computerworld.com/article/2474847/cybercrime-hacking/10-yrs-later--dhs-still-plagued-with-cybersecurity--critical-infrastructure-probl.html
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