Learning How to Innovate "1n51d3-th3-B0x": Cyber Defense and Deterrence for the 21st Century presented at BSidesSpringfield 2017

by Ernest Wong,

Summary : Since our Republic’s founding, Americans have demonstrated a speculative knack and considerable optimism that have translated into innovative solutions for grappling with tough problems. From the first American colonists who made do with limited resources to today’s NASA astronauts who boldly explore space with minimal supplies in order to break free of gravity, Americans have a proud history of discovering new and better ways for getting the job done. Today innovation has become a buzzword in the US Army, and it is helping to shape the vision for the “Army of 2025 and Beyond” as an agile organization able to adapt and prevail in this complex world. But does the US Army have the capabilities needed to protect vital national interests in cyber and to succeed in the Multi-Domain Battle? Does the US Army know how to foster innovations that can keep pace with disruptive cyberattacks so that it is able to triumph against sophisticated peer enemy threats in the not-too-distant future? The rapid growth of the Internet in our globally connected world has meant that the tools within the cyber domain are constantly changing. In such a fluid environment, does America still have the capacity to gain the strategic advantage necessary to effectively out-hack those who attack us in the cyber domain? To make matters worse, there are those who believe the US Army is such an unwieldy bureaucracy that it can’t adapt to win tomorrow’s wars, particularly in places where it lacks expertise, such as space, cyberspace, and other contested areas including the information environment and the cognitive dimension of warfare. This presentation provides a simple framework for analyzing different types of innovation, and in doing so, asks us to think inside-the-box to promote better ways the US Army can defend and deter against attacks within cyberspace. By analyzing what innovation really means and by highlighting the differences between four distinct types of innovation (disruptive, breakthrough, sustaining, and incremental), this presentation shows us just how easy the US Army can develop and nurture successful innovations for the cyber domain. Learning how to innovate using this inside-the-box methodology will help the US Army to exploit windows of advantage across time and space. Anyone wishing to discover and leverage the most appropriate framework for innovating in this 21st Century will not want to miss this briefing.