Marshall Center Program Engages Experts to Address Cyberspace Challenges, Threats

December 21, 2018

It’s a hyperconnected world, where cyberspace provides critical support for the world’s economy, civil infrastructure, public safety and national security. But it’s also where cyberattacks loom as large as the opportunities with their ability to trigger massive breakdowns.

Seventy-eight cyber professionals from 52 countries are now better equipped to establish policy responses to these rapidly evolving cyber threats after graduating yesterday from the Program on Cyber Security Studies at the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies here.

The Marshall Center is a German-American partnership that has produced generations of global security professionals for the past 25 years. In 2014, the Defense Department designated it as a Center of Excellence for Transnational Security Studies, due to its cybersecurity program and its courses on countering organized crime and combating terrorism.

Whole-of-Government Approaches

“Our program focuses on areas that are not just within the normal Department of Defense or Ministry of Defense lanes or areas of expertise, but also examines whole-of-government approaches in addressing cyber security issues and challenges,” said Philip Lark, the PCSS course director, who was instrumental in developing this transnational course for the Marshall Center in 2014.

In particular, the program addresses internet governance, internet freedom, combating terrorism and cybercrime, developing public and private partnerships, applicability of international law in cyber space, and exploring other critical cyber-related policy issues.

“We are the only DOD regional center that has the authority to do a transnational program like this with participants from all over the world,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, the Marshall Center’s director.

In this class, the professionals worked in a wide variety of national ministries, with the majority from interior, defense, justice and foreign affairs. “This program addresses strategic guidance from our stakeholders: DOD and German Ministry of Defense,” Dayton said. Specifically, this guidance is:

— To incorporate and evaluate whole-of-government approaches when developing national cyber strategies and policies;

— To foster an environment of cyber due diligence;

— To share Euro-Atlantic and public-private partnerships proposals globally for addressing asymmetric threats from nonstate actors; and

— To nurture the formation of a global active network of senior-level cybersecurity professionals.

‘Greatest Show on Earth’

Mika Kerttunen, director of Studies at the Cyber Policy Institute in Tartu, Estonia, was an adjunct professor for this course.

“The structure of PCSS and how [Lark] has constructed it, gives participants guidance on national strategy as a process and content matter,” he said. “PCSS is totally unique and exceptional. It is the greatest show on Earth in this field. It really makes a difference, because [Lark] and the Marshall Center have been able to gather so many people from so many different countries across the spectrum of government and civilian administrations.”

When it is repeated year after year, he added, the results become more viable and reach around the globe.