The role of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in military cyber attack warning
DeGering, Randall R.
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For more than fifty years, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been responsible for conducting aerospace warning and control missions for the defense of North America. In accomplishing those operations, Commander NORAD is responsible for making the official warning to both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada if North America is suddenly under aerospace attack. Now, with the dramatic increase in worldwide cyberspace events, NORAD has begun examining its own potential role within this new domain. Would involving NORAD in the military cyber attack warning process, leveraging its unique and proven binational structure, provide any advantages to both nations? To analyze this question, this thesis briefly traces NORAD’s warning mission history, discusses the basic concepts involved with cyber attacks, identifies key U.S. and Canadian military cyber organizations, and examines significant U.S. and Canadian cyberspace government policies. It then proposes three potential new courses of action for NORAD, identifying advantages, disadvantages, and proposed solutions to implementation. The thesis ends by recommending NORAD advocate for unrestricted cyberspace national event conference participation. This would be a realistic, achievable first step offering significant improvement in both NORAD’s cyber attack situational awareness, as well as improving overall operational responsiveness.
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