The Jerusalem Post reports on how the Israeli Defense Force is schooling its soldiers in the art of cyber warfare:
The army is initiating a course to teach senior field commanders about cyber space and the way it can affect large-scale ground operations.
Overseen by the IDF’s C4I Directorate, the course is aimed at teaching senior officers, mainly infantry, armor and artillery brigade commanders, about cyber space and cyber warfare.
News of the course comes amid reports that Israel was behind a series of recent cyber attacks against Iran in an aim to undermine its nuclear program.
The new courses are part of Israel's push to become the world leader in cyber warfare. While the U.S. is an important cyber warfare partner with Israel, it has a lot of catch-up to do to remain competitive.
As this Council on Foreign Relations report shows, a lot more work is needed to create a cyber-savvy culture.
A series of high-profile events in 2010 and 2011 highlighted the increasing and multifaceted threat of cyberattacks. These include the espionage hacks on Google and Western energy companies, the Stuxnet infiltration of Iranian nuclear sites, and the targeting of government networks in South Korea. U.S. cybersecurity policy continues to evolve to meet these challenges, but critical gaps remain, including the incomplete protection of digital infrastructure vital to national security, such as power grids and financial networks.
Current U.S. cybersecurity policy splits responsibilities between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, with the former managing "dot mil" and the latter "dot gov" domains. Despite these initiatives, U.S. policy still lacks a coherent approach to protecting critical digital assets outside of the government and, in most cases, relies on the voluntary participation of private industry.
Experts foresee human capital as a potential pitfall in future U.S. cybersecurity efforts. Speaking to Congress in March 2011, CYBERCOM chief General Keith Alexander described cybersecurity staffing and resources as very thin and likely to be overwhelmed by a crisis. Writing for Foreign Affairs, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn acknowledged the disproportionate number of computer scientists being produced by India and China, and suggested that the United States will "lose its advantage in cyberspace if that advantage is predicated on simply amassing trained cybersecurity professionals."