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Cyber should have a place in organizational structures

April 4, 2017 (Photo Credit: alexaldo/Getty Images)
A very interesting discussion began to take place about 18 months ago. That conversation continues today. Perhaps the biggest change in that conversation is the intensity of the discussion when the topic of organizational structure arises. An internet search brought back multiple organizational charts (under images) for a number of militaries around the world as well as for NATO. A  review of those diagrams prompted the discussion of several concerns. Here are just a few of those concerns:

The top issue was concern over the ability for nearly real-time decision-making surrounding cyber operations. This concern is clearly multidimensional. Cyber operations are not specifically identified on many (OK, most) of these diagrams. The closest thing when it comes to cyber is a block that identifies information systems — this clearly (because of its location) is specifically related to traditional systems, not what we mean when we discuss cyber operations (offensive, defensive and intelligence-gathering technology). 

Does all of this mean that cyber is fully integrated into the current organizations to the point where they are not separately called out? That is highly doubtful. Few would dispute the impact cyber is having when it comes to the military and national defense. There is little doubt that cyber impacts military strategy, policy, decision-making, training, equipment/weapons and organizational operations. Given the magnitude of impact, it should be organizationally addressed. Clearly, cyber (offensive, defensive and intelligence) is a horizontal function/capability that supports the entire military organization. The time has passed when cyber should be fully integrated and structured to address this large and growing challenge in terms of operational efficiencies and capabilities as well as real-time decision-making!
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