America's Achilles Heel: Cyber Security and Its Implications For America's Status as a World Power
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- cyberspace; cyber warfare; cyber espionage; exfiltration; advanced persistent threat (APT); Defense and Security Studies
At present the U.S. is facing a sophisticated threat emanating from foreign soil – cyber espionage. This thesis explores the cyber domain, in part because it is a battlefield not fully understood by the public at large and because of the effects presented to the victim nation as a result of cyber attacks. At a time when the U.S. is shifting its attention to the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. must address this emerging threat as it directly threatens U.S. military dominance abroad. The road into the next decade will weave through the complicated terrain of cyberspace as much can be gained to modernize a weaker nation's military forces while degrading that of the United States. To stave off the cyber threat emanating from China and elsewhere, the U.S. must provide for an effective and comprehensive national cyber security legislation, continue to engage China on cyber-related issues, bolster U.S. cyber defenses, enhance individual user hygiene among private industry, commence a U.S.-led coalition of like-minded allies who agree that this threat is not only a U.S. problem, but a problem that threatens all nations and needs to be eliminated, increase U.S. government and private industry information sharing of cyber reporting, and increase university training and recruiting to develop cyber security professionals. The ramifications of continued successful targeting of U.S. networks by adversaries are sobering, as it could threaten our position as a world power.