Exemplified by articles in the Journal of Electronic Defense, there are still advocates for keeping the electronic warfare and cyberspace communities separate. Many who fight in the electromagnetic environment wish to remain apart from the cyberspace operations community. On the cyberspace operations side, there is an equally limited call for partnership or integration.
In fact, the congressional Electronic Warfare Working Group has made little mention of the interplay between electronic and cyber warfare in its requests to the Department of Defense for briefings and assessments, perpetuating a singularity of focus.
The sentiment against integration seems driven by culture and budgets rather than doctrine and physics.
On the electronic warfare (EW) side, the primary issues appear to be:
- The preference to associate with the rated operations community and focus on integration with tactical combat operations.
- The view that the cyber operations community is the "stay-at-home team," since it is less likely to be forward deployed.
- The complex approval processes to employ cyber capabilities in a conflict that would hamstring the EW community.
- The continuous fight for sustainment funding.
On the cyber operations side, the primary issues to be:
- The imperative on rapid software development, which results in a continuous cat-and-mouse game between defensive operations, computer network exploitation, and offensive cyber operations.
- The continuously adaptive pace of the domain, since the fight occurs 24/7 on a global scale.
- The complex EW acquisition process that would hamstring cyber operators, since it is often tied to major weapons programs.
- The overtasking to improve cybersecurity, support combatant command operations, and now secure homeland defense, leaving limited resources to expand the community's vision.
While these issues continue to hamper closer integration, the cyber landscape continues to evolve in directions that compel the two communities to knock down stovepipes.
With billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to be in operation by 2025, the IoT will truly make cyberspace a ubiquitous and indispensable part of the nation's infrastructure. The DoD is also interested in improving situational awareness and real-time decision-making via the connected battlefield -- the so-called Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT). Of importance to both the EW and cyber communities is that virtually all of these devices rely on radio frequency (RF) pathways to get to the Internet.
Potentially billions of IoT devices could be vulnerable to different types of electronic-cyber attacks.