Chapter 1 provided a high-level overview of the need for a national framework for protecting critical infrastructure. For some additional reading, take a look at the latest Presidential Order that relates to strengthening cybersecurity that relates to critical infrastructure: After reading chapter 1 and looking at the link above, you’re ready to participate in the first discussion. Let’s look at a real-world scenario and how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plays into it. In the scenario, the United States will be hit by a large-scale, coordinated cyber attack organized by China. These attacks debilitate the functioning of government agencies, parts of the critical infrastructure, and commercial ventures. The IT infrastructure of several agencies are paralyzed, the electric grid in most of the country is shut down, telephone traffic is seriously limited and satellite communications are down (limiting the Department of Defense’s [DOD’s] ability to communicate with commands overseas). International commerce and financial institutions are also severely hit. Please explain how DHS should handle this situation. You must do the following: 1) Create a new thread. As indicated above, Amoroso, E. G. (2012). . Elsevier.

To effectively address the scenario of a large-scale, coordinated cyber attack on the United States organized by China, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would need to take swift and comprehensive action. Given the debilitating impact of the attack on government agencies, critical infrastructure, commercial ventures, and the country as a whole, DHS would play a crucial role in coordinating the response and recovery efforts.

First and foremost, DHS should activate the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) as the central hub for monitoring and coordinating the response to the cyber attack. The NCCIC, established as a part of DHS, is tasked with analyzing cyber threats, sharing information with relevant stakeholders, and providing incident response assistance. In this scenario, the NCCIC would be critical in collecting and analyzing real-time information about the attack, identifying the affected entities, and sharing this information with appropriate government agencies, critical infrastructure owners/operators, and private sector organizations.

DHS should also work closely with other federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense (DOD), to ensure a coordinated and cohesive response. Given the impact on the DOD’s ability to communicate with overseas commands due to satellite communication being down, DHS should collaborate with the DOD to establish alternative communication channels or leverage existing backup systems to restore essential communication capabilities. This would enable the DOD to maintain situational awareness and effectively respond to any potential military implications arising from the cyber attack.

In addition to the DOD, DHS should engage with other key stakeholders, including critical infrastructure owners/operators and private sector organizations. Through the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), DHS already has established partnerships with entities representing the critical infrastructure sectors, such as energy, transportation, and finance. Leveraging these existing relationships, DHS should work with critical infrastructure owners/operators to assess the impact of the attack on their systems and develop strategies to mitigate the damage, restore operations, and ensure the resilience of their infrastructure against future attacks.

Furthermore, DHS should coordinate with international partners and engage in diplomatic efforts to address the cyber attack originating from China. This would involve sharing relevant information and intelligence with foreign governments, engaging in joint investigations, and potentially imposing diplomatic or economic sanctions as appropriate. By collaborating with international partners, DHS can work towards holding the responsible entities accountable and deter future cyber attacks from occurring.

In terms of communication with the public and managing public perception, DHS should establish a clear and transparent communication strategy to disseminate accurate information about the cyber attack, its impact, and the ongoing response and recovery efforts. This would help alleviate potential panic or confusion among the public and instill confidence in the government’s ability to handle the situation effectively.

Overall, mitigating and recovering from a large-scale, coordinated cyber attack on the United States would require a multidimensional approach involving coordination between different government agencies, collaboration with critical infrastructure owners/operators and private sector organizations, engagement with international partners, and effective communication with the public. By leveraging its existing capabilities, partnerships, and expertise, DHS can play a pivotal role in safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure and ensuring its resilience in the face of cyber threats.

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