Cyber issues highlighted in USAWC education

By John GouletteJune 10, 2022

Cyber issues highlighted in USAWC education
USAWC educates future strategic leaders on cyber related issues to better prepare them for modern challenges. (Photo Credit: John Goulette) VIEW ORIGINAL

Senior military leaders recognize the need to understand the cyber domain. The Army War College integrates awareness and planning into its courses, academic exercises and wargames, with focus on the issues and implications associated with cybersecurity, crisis response, and cyber intelligence.

The War College recently hired data scientist Dr. Kathleen Moore to help students understand the importance and influence of new technologies. She has been active in researching and publishing on a diverse range of areas, including cybersecurity, the dark web, black markets, demographic targeting, decision-making, deception, and collaboration in virtual environments. Moore, a professor in the War College's Futures Group, teaches Data Decision Making, Strategic Personal Cyber Defense and co-teaches a class on Futures Forecasting.

"Moore is an experienced educator and researcher who has applied the tools of data and information science to a wide variety of problems," noted Dr. James Breckenridge, War College Provost.

“We are in an unprecedented era of exponential technology use and data growth,” said Moore. “The average citizen creates over three trillion data points each year. Those types of data points can help us make decisions at the strategic level,” she said when discussing the importance of data analysis.

Moore recognizes that not every student will become an expert on cyber issues, but hopes to a level of competency on these issues. According to Moore, data literacy is a skill set that can be applied to a wide variety of issues, and in a world with so much messy "human data," you need that literacy to filter out what is important and what is not. Those basic skills are essential in decision-making.

"In the world of strategic leadership, this information security and cyber literacy training is priceless," said Lt. Col. Randy Lefebvre, a student in Moore's Strategic Personal Cyber Defense class. "These threats can impact anyone at any time, which is why I share what I learn in this class with people close to me."

With the overwhelming amounts of misinformation and disinformation seen across digital platforms, Moore says it is important to recognize what could be potentially dangerous, especially for U.S. military officials.

“One of the things that I have been noticing is the number of fake accounts using the names and photos of high-ranking U.S. military officers. While many of these profiles are benign, containing just the name and profile picture of the official. However, with nothing else, some of those accounts have incredibly incorrect information. It is a major issue to have false and harmful information linked to the names of those officials, which is why it is important to take action against those accounts,” said Moore.

“The great thing about teaching at the War College is that you can see your students use what they learned in class almost instantly, while at a more traditional university, it would take years for students to be able to use these strategies,” said Moore, on the difference between teaching at a traditional university compared to the War College.

Prior to joining the War College at the beginning of this academic year, Moore was an Associate Professor at James Madison University.

While at JMU, she directed the Cyber Intelligence Graduate Certificate program and taught courses such as human-computer interaction, information warfare, and social media analysis. She is also the founder and organizer for the Women in Intelligence Conference at JMU. She has received a Distinguished Service Award for her work in disaster response from the Information Systems for Crisis Responders and Managers community.

Moore earned her B.A. in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University and her Ph.D. in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State.