Episode 3: Jim Miller, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
U.S. Needs Strategic Plan to Deter Russian Cyber Interference
The next CyberCast episode explores how the government can ward off adversaries before an attack.
By Amanda Ziadeh
The Russians have used information warfare as a tool to interfere in the U.S. elections for years, but if America acknowledges this meddling, why does the government have such a hard time deterring that threat?
One reason is that the U.S. lacks a clear policy, strategy and coherent response, so “of course [Russia will] continue to do it,” Jim Miller, former undersecretary of defense for policy and current president of Adaptive Strategies, LLC, said on the third episode of CyberCast.
Miller discusses why cybersecurity deterrence is so difficult for the U.S. with CyberCast’s hosts Kiersten Todt and Roger Cressey. Specifically, he stresses the need for a systematic, campaign approach and plan similar to that of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s — the agency doesn’t always know when a hurricane is approaching, but has an action plan in place to respond to one.
But oftentimes, as Todt points out, it takes a disaster the nation is unprepared for to effectively begin prepare for another in the future, like Hurricane Katrina. So, what does government need to do to prepare for cyberevents, before the U.S. is hit with a cyberdisaster?
Miller says we understand the problem set well enough to begin systematic planning, which should include how to communicate to that potential adversary today to deter them from attacking tomorrow.
“My own view is that the principal impediment to effective deterrence by cost imposition by response today, is not that our potential adversaries think we don’t have the capabilities, but it’s that they think we don’t have the will,” Miller says.
Listen to the podcast to hear the full conversation and find out where Miller believes cyberdefense policy is headed.