LinkedIn tracking pixel

Estimating Adversary Reaction to Counter-Cyber Operations

Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

You are cordially invited to a presentation on the topic:
Estimating Adversary Reaction to Counter-Cyber Operations
Mr. JD Work

Wednesday, January 22nd
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C.


Co-sponsored by the Marine Corps University Foundation and the Krulak Center at Marine Corps University

About the lecture: The back to back multiple major incidents of 2017 proved the fragility of warning intelligence where destructive adversary action arises out of sustained campaigns undergoing constant iterated cycles of improvement – leading to surprise from capabilities innovation rather than technological invention. Out of this hard year came a significant but little understood shift in US government policy that took shape in 2018: the adoption of the strategic vision of persistent engagement, and with it the mission to defend forward. Concepts of operations proposed under this framework seek in part to impose friction on hostile intrusion sets through a range of countering options, in order to change adversary decision logic underlying ongoing intrusion, future operational preparation, and attack campaigns. These often-misunderstood policies have only recently begun to receive attention outside of a narrow community of defense intellectuals.

However, this is not merely an academic discussion of policy for cybersecurity professionals, who remain on the front lines facing an adversary that will be changing in response to these new pressures.

This talk will provide new lenses through which to consider potential hostile response to counter-cyber operations, drawing upon classic analytic tradecraft offering tools for the study of innovation and adaptation that have to date been largely overlooked by cyber threat intelligence practitioners. We will discuss the mechanisms of friction experienced by the adversary, the sources of change, and the range of hostile courses of action that are likely to develop as adversary operators seek to sustain operations under pressure. We will consider the prospect of escalation, as well as concerns that may arise during ongoing campaigns regarding collateral damage and even fratricide.

Further, we will explore the observables from which inferences regarding reaction may be drawn, and discuss their potential probative value as well as susceptibility to deliberate deception. We seek to equip the intelligence professional with new tools to more accurately explain and estimate adversary actions in support of analysis for differing decisionmaker requirements.

About the speaker: JD Work serves as the Bren Chair for Cyber Conflict and Security at the Marine Corps University, where he leads research to develop the theory, practice, and operational art of the cyber warfighting function, and to explore the wider role of the cyber instrument in national security strategy and the future defense competition and stability problem space. He additionally is affiliated with with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, as well as George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs. He further serves as a senior advisor to the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Mr. Work has over two decades experience working in cyber intelligence and operations roles for the private sector and US government.

By registering for or attending this event, you signify your agreement to our events policy, which may be found here.