The Hill: The United States Government must rethink its domestic cyber defense strategy. Even though the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DOD) have the nominal lead in defending America from cyber-attack, no federal agency has been tasked to protect key infrastructure during a significant cyber incident. Treating cyber disasters far differently from physical ones is a mistake because it deprives the country of a powerful resource, the National Guard. The upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the perfect opportunity to remedy this situation.
The dangers of cyber attack are real, especially if directed toward critical or state infrastructure, such as electricity grids, water distributions systems, and data centers. Yet a cyber-attack on such systems would not trigger the same type of government response that a natural disaster or kinetic attack within the United States would. If a significant cyber-incursion hits American critical or state infrastructure tomorrow, the National Guard would be largely forced to sit on the sidelines as other government agencies attempted to respond.