This anthology of cyber analogies will resonate with readers whose duties call for them to set strategies to protect the virtual domain and determine the policies that govern it. Our belief it that learning is most effective when concepts under consideration can be aligned with already-existing understanding or knowledge. Cyber issues are inherently tough to explain in layman's terms. The future is always open and undetermined, and the numbers of actors and the complexity of their relations are too great to give definitive guidance about future developments. In this report, historical analogies, carefully developed and properly applied, help indicate a direction for action by reducing complexity and making the future at least cognately manageable.
The Cyber Analogies Project was launched in 2012 to assist U.S. Cyber Command in identifying and developing relevant historical, economic, and other useful metaphors that could be used to enrich the discourse about cyber strategy, doctrine, and policy. The intent of the project is to provide useful insights, both for those with little technical background in or direct connection to cyberwar and cyber security and for those whose job it is to think about the spectrum of cyber-related issues every day. The project was conceived and carried out to help very senior, busy, responsible people understand topics and issues that are fast-moving and dynamic, and have potentially great consequences for society, security, and world affairs.
The President has identified the cyber security threat as one of the most serious we face as a nation. Events in cyberspace continue to accelerate, as both nation-states and non-state actors seek to exploit asymmetrical advantages in this virtual domain. The risks and costs of failing to act skillfully and effectively are likely to be widespread, cascading, and almost surely highly disruptive. Many small-scale attacks can be—and are being— prevented; but a major, mass-disruptive attack is a growing possibility against which current defenses are inadequate.
Cyber Analogies * The Cyber Pearl Harbor * Applying the Historical Lessons of Surprise Attack to the Cyber Domain: The Example of the United Kingdom * The Cyber Pearl Harbor Analogy: An Attacker's Perspective * "When the Urgency of Time and Circumstances Clearly Does Not Permit...": Redelegation in Nuclear and Cyber Scenarios * Comparing Airpower and Cyberpower * Active Cyber Defense: Applying Air Defense to the Cyber Domain * The Strategy of Economic Warfare: A Historical Case Study and Possible Analogy to Contemporary Cyber Warfare * Silicon Valley: Metaphor for Cybersecurity, Key to Understanding Innovation War * The Offense-Defense Balance and Cyber Warfare