Paper Example. National Security Strategy and Cybersecurity

Published: 2023-03-06
Paper Example. National Security Strategy and Cybersecurity
Type of paper:  Research proposal
Categories:  United States Cyber security National security
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1195 words
10 min read

The 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) evaluates various national security issues that include economic ties with China and the United States' nuclear arsenal lethality. Also, the document presents a list of action items that pertain to the improvement of the country's strategy to cybersecurity. Additionally, on the subject of cybersecurity, the report states that the United States would invest in the ability to improve and support the country's capacity to attribute and rapidly respond to cyber attacks. In this endeavor, the U.S would likely make significant efforts to enhance the outdated information technology infrastructure of the United States government. Accordingly, the document provides enough details in the identification of the current and potential future cyber threats as well as strategies on how to deal with such threats. As a result, the document is sufficient in addressing cybersecurity without the need of additional strategy publications specific to cybersecurity.

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For starters, the document reflects cybersecurity concerns in every part of the entire strategy, which is founded on four pillars of promoting prosperity, protecting the homeland, advancing the United States' influence and preserving peace through strength (White House, 2017). Additionally, the document has extensively examined the various component of cybersecurity, particularly in perceiving the broadness of the risk and the realization that it will take dedicating substantial resources in developing effective cybersecurity strategies. Although National Security Strategy reports are not document meant to spur significant innovation in policies, they are effective in identifying and articulating the extensive outlines of the major threats to national security in addition to identifying prominent themes on what the administration should improve. Regarding the 2017 strategy document, the government does not relegate the cyberspace to the sidelines; rather, by discussing cybersecurity concerns all through the document, the administration shows an understanding that the internet is a fundamental part to virtually every element of national security.

For example, in identifying immediate cyber threats to the United States, the document defines and recognizes China as a significant threat in cyber-enabled economic warfare (White House, 2017). However, although the document's language on this issue is more firm compared to past National Security Strategies, the topic of taking to account the Chinese for their theft of vital U.S. licensed innovations is not new. Moreover, it additionally perceives Russia as a danger as the document terms Russia's activities on the internet as "destabilizing" and declares that Russia utilizes data operations as a major aspect of its hostile digital endeavors to impact popular opinion all over the world (White House, 2017).

Subsequently, the document details five directives that can be taken to help protect the United States from cyber dangers, which include identifying and prioritizing risk, building defensible government networks, deterring and disrupting malicious cyber actors, improving information sharing and sensing, and deploying layered defenses (White House, 2017). Furthermore, the strategy document likewise identifies three sectors in which upgrading the cyberspace abilities can add to "peace through strength," the third pillar of the NSS. These areas include improving attribution, responsibility, and reaction, improving digital tools and aptitude, and improving agility and integration (White House, 2017).

Additionally, from the first pillar, the document expresses the administration's views on the importance of cybersecurity activities in the United States' endeavors of defeating jihadist terrorists. Presently, cyberspace has proved to be a haven for terrorists, whereby the NSS makes the precise reference of expecting to address the issue of going dark, even though it perceives that working with the private industry is essential to tackling it. There is additionally a segment on transnational criminal associations, which the administration recognizes can be utilized by some enemies of the state to carry out unattributable cyber theft, political rebellion, interruptions, and sabotage (White House, 2017).

On the other hand, there are a few issues that the National Security Strategy does not adequately address as it pertains to cybersecurity. The document's pertinent areas are about the conventional and well-characterized procedures of American digital security. Its expressed priorities are network defense, risk management, deterrence, establishing layered defenses, and information sharing. A large number of the proposed steps forward are not new. For example, guaranteeing to streamline approval and improving procedures and authorities integration across the U.S. government so that digital activities against state enemies can be carried out as required (White House, 2003). With proper implementation, such strategies are helpful; however, the document does not provide extensive details on the proposed policies would be accomplished.

Another significant limitation of the NSS is that it does not prioritize the security of elections in the U.S. from cyber threats. However, it does recognize that enemies of the U.S. are assaulting the country's establishments. That part of being strong as a country incorporates the capacity to withstand and recoup quickly from dangers to democracy. Additionally, it expresses that malicious agents such as Russia are utilizing data tools trying to undermine the authenticity of the democratic system (White House, 2017). But the document stops short of articulating the cybersecurity issues around the 2016 political decision and how to ensure those occasions do not occur again.

Consequently, the external hacking actions that ought to have been a reminder and a sign that past American policies required updating is, for the most part, disregarded. In this manner, the NSS, for the most part, ignores three of the most critical national security questions the United States faces (White House, 2017). The means by which the united states can be able to discourage foes, especially Russian programmers encouraged by their fruitful intrusion in the 2016 political race, from acting similarly once more. Also, the defense of the U.S. electoral systems from outside intrusion, and managing the particular risk of information operations empowered to a limited extent by hacking, a threat that strikes at the very heart of the democratic procedure.

The NSS document mentions deterrence as a strategy of cybersecurity. However, the document does not provide details on whether the administration believes that deterrence has been effective in previous instances and whether similar deterrent action would be effective in preventing future cyber attacks. In addition, it does not give data on the particular deterrent techniques to be utilized, and more in general, if endeavors at cyber deterrence can even restrain antagonistic behavior (White House, 2003). The area on deterrence in the national security policy is, to a great extent, inadequate on these significant points, rather presenting doubtful language about resilience and consequences, similar to previous strategy publications on cybersecurity.

Ultimately, the 2017 National Security Strategy provides adequate information on the identified cyber threats to the United States and proposes various techniques of dealing with such threats. The document adds on previous cybersecurity strategies by providing more details as well as touching on specific and immediate threats to the United States, such as China and Russia. However, it also has its shortcomings, primarily because the document ignored the 2016 hacking incident, which is a significant issue in cybersecurity. All in all, the detailed nature of the report does not require additional publications; instead, involved stakeholders should consider it the backbone on which to develop cybersecurity strategies.


House, W. (2003). The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (2003).

Trump, D. J. (2017). National security strategy of the United States of America. Executive Office of the President Washington DC Washington United States.

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