An Exploration of Cyberspace Security R&D Investment Strategies for DARPA: "the Day After-- in Cyberspace II"

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During the past several years, a RAND-developed "The Day After ..." exercise methodology has been developed and used to explore strategic planning options, both for nuclear proliferation and counterproliferation, and, more recently, for questions involving "security in cyberspace" and "information warfare (IW)." On March 23, 1996, a "The Day After.. in Cyberspace" exercise with approximately 60 participants was conducted at RAND's Washington D.C. offices, under the sponsorship of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The purpose was to generate suggestions and options regarding research and development initiatives to enhance the security of the U.S. information infrastructure. The scenario used in this exercise involved a Mideast crisis situation, with Iran as an aggressor. We used a variation of the scenario that had been used earlier to explore other aspects of planning for cyberspace security, as documented in Molander, Riddile, and Wilson (1996). Participants in the exercise spent approximately three hours in individual groups, and another two hours in plenary sessions, discussing both short-term technical fixes to counter 1W allacks that were hypothesized to occur in the year 2000 and longer-term research strategies that could be initiated now to avoid significant vulnerabilities in the future. These discussions ranged over known problems with the current information infrastructure, and both common wisdom and some novel approaches to tightening the security of those systems on which our nation depends. We highlight below some of the observations and suggestions resulting from these discussions that appear to be relevant to DARPA's planning for R & D investments in the field of cyberspace security.

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