As an engineer with a keen interest in military history, I can appreciate war consistently enables the rapid development of new technology that subsequently has enormous utility during peace-time. My grandfather was part of the British effort during World War II to develop RADAR, something I always consider when I’m taking a commercial flight, but the list of things I have daily engagement with that were first developed for a military use-case is extraordinary; Sat-Nav, microwaves, arguably computers and the Internet, medicine, materials, I could go on.
Logiq Consulting are currently supporting UK Government deliver Defensive Cyber enhancements across complex IT enterprises, and the recent increase in tensions between the West and Iran led me to think about whether “Cyber War” (which some, including the Chief of Defence Staff*, are assured is already ubiquitous) would provide the opportunity for society to further benefit from rapid acceleration of Cyber Defence Technology. Cyber-attacks can be extremely cheap (dependant on the target’s approach to Cyber Defence), highly effective and potentially unattributable, so it’s my humble opinion that any state or non-state actor looking level the playing fields with global super-powers would certainly be looking to utilise Cyber Effects. Cyber Security was identified as a Tier 1 threat in the 2010 National Security Strategy and the NCSC is doing some fantastic work supporting UK PLC operate securely in Cyber Space, but are we likely to see more effective Cyber Defence being developed from a Military genesis?
Personally, I am not convinced that an increase in activity associated with State led Cyber Warfare would increase the rate of development. Effective Cyber Defence is already required by a global market, these use-cases are not military specific and therefore
seed-funding is already available for the next Machine-Learning, AI enhanced, next-next generation tooling. I am convinced however, that an increase in tensions between capable threat actors could see the chances of a high-profile cyber effect being observed in a developed nation. This will be another “WannaCry” moment for a given sector, be it Banking, Manufacturing, Health or Defence, and the fall out will be an exponential increase in interest across all organisations revisiting their approach to Cyber Security in the wake of the next attack that makes for great headlines.
Logiq Consulting are currently supporting a range of organisations, from Tech Start-Ups to Central Government, design, establish and operate an effective Cyber Security strategy. As Robert Baden-Powell would council, particularly given that the scouts developed from his British Army Military Field Manual; Be Prepared!
James Morgan, Principal Consultant, Logiq Consulting Ltd