Cyber has provided the means for rapidly assembling and operating military coalitions in the post-Cold-War era. Now, the very nature of the domain may require coalitions to save it from a growing menu of threats. These threats can range from annoying hackers to organized crime to malicious nation-states and even geopolitical movements to restrict the flow of ideas. While the panoply of perils is diverse, the actions to defend against them may have to spring from the well of government and organizational cooperation.
South Korea didn't merely react when it suffered two extensive cyber attacks earlier this year. It established a national cyber policy and formed a government/military/commercial partnership to protect against future intrusions.
The best intentions among international cyber experts may be foiled simply because they don't understand each other's cultural differences. Priorities and even the way of thinking can inhibit progress without cyber experts even realizing it.
The national laws that ensure freedom in modern democracies are preventing effective international cybersecurity measures. Hackers hide behind borders as they ply their malice around the world, and authorities are hard-pressed to reach them.
The networking assembled for the emergency Philippine typhoon response broke new ground in connectivity among governments and relief organizations. However, it also opened the door to sabotage by cybermarauders.
Australia has implemented a cybersecurity policy that brings together government and industry to secure the domain nationally. The country recently elevated cybersecurity as a major priority for national security, and in 2009, it established a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC).
Now that allied forces have accepted coalitions as a requisite for future military operations, they must undergo a cultural sea change for cybersecurity. Accepting nontraditional partners demands a new way of viewing cybersecurity that entails greater flexibility at its most philosophical level.
An evolving mission network connecting U.S. and Australian forces is being expanded to include other trusted allies with an eye toward adding coalition partner nations. The network is built around a risk-managed approach for sensitive information sharing.
"If you allow the United States to operate out of sanctuary, we will beat the crap out of you." - Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, USAF, vice commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, addressing potential adversaries