Arranging the Defence of the Cyber Environment as a Part of Military Affairs: Tactical, Operational and Strategic approach in retrospect of The Russian - Ukrainian War 2022




Cyber Defence, Multi-Domain Battle, Cyber Conflict, Military Operations, Cyber Operations


The artificial cyber environment has reached national security interest and emerged as the fourth domain of battle in the military concept of all-domain operations in most Western armed forces and coalitions in the past 30 years. Currently, militaries are struggling to keep up with cybercriminals and advanced persistent actors while trying to gain an advantage of their data and digital infrastructure. The paper focuses on military affairs' ways and means to address the need for cyber warriors operating in friendly, neutral, and hostile cyber environments integrated under Multi-Domain Operations. The paper uses design research methodology to create and test a model for cyber defence capabilities generation and utilisation. The theoretical reference to military affairs is based on Beer's Viable System Model and previous studies of military organisations' evolution as capability generators. The military and societal cyber environment evolution model is based on industrial revolutions and current tendencies. These approaches define a hypothetical model for two main functions of military affairs (force generation and utilisation) concerning cyber defence capabilities. The fast evolution of cyber threats sets unique requirements for cyber force utilisation and generation structures. This difference has culminated in a recent war between Russia and Ukraine, and data from that conflict is used to test the hypothetical model. The rapid evolution of the cyber environment and its weaponisation establish different requirements for military cyber capabilities compared to any other operational dimension or capability (space, air, land, or maritime). The difference is evident in sourcing resources, generating capabilities, and using them in Multi-Domain Operations. The paper provides a tested model for generating cyber defence capabilities at a strategic level and an operation model for cyber defence at a tactical and operational level. The designed model extends the technically oriented cybersecurity thinking with operational and strategic levels. Furthermore, the model introduces the value stream behind the cyber capability acquisition and supports strategic designers in national and military analysis.

Author Biography

Juha Kai Mattila, Aalto University

Dr Juha Kai Mattila is a senior adviser in KPMG, Riyadh, KSA. He received his D.Sc. in engineering from Aalto University in 2020 and G.S. in C5ISTAR from the National Defence University of Finland in 1993. He is a freelance researcher who advises defence forces in cyber defence.