Date of Award
Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security (D.P.S.)
Division of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security
Cybersecurity is a national priority for the Homeland Security enterprise. Yet, despite a prioritization at the federal level, municipal and state governments have struggled to incorporate the National Guard in cyber incident response. Cyber incidents strain municipalities and states, which have spent significant resources to mitigate cyber threats. The glaring gap in the National Guard’s role in municipal and state cyber incident response warrants two key questions as to why the National Guard isn’t more readily used. “Is it cost prohibitive to use National Guard assets when compared to private entities?” Or “is there an underlying sociological disconnect regarding the National Guard’s role in cyber disaster when compared to physical disasters.”? Both questions and the National Guard’s role have largely underexamined by Homeland Security professionals and academia requires additional examination. This dissertation seeks to study via a sequential mixed method approach answers to both questions. First, using a quantitative analysis method examining case studies this study seeks to examine if “it is less expensive for municipal and state governments to use the National Guard instead of private sector assistance for cyber incident responses?" Sequentially if it is less expensive, this dissertation seeks to utilize a survey-based questionnaire from associations of National Guard and Emergency response personal to answer, “is there and underlying sociological misperceptions that contribute to National Guard’s underutilization for cyber disasters when compared to their role in traditional disaster response?” This study achieved complimenting results: with quantitative testing affirming the initial hypothesis regarding the National Guard’s cost effectiveness versus private sector entities in case studies examined. This led to qualitive studies using surveys to examine possible misperceptions of the National Guard’s role in cyber incident response for municipal and state level operations. Surveys revealed both a lack of understanding and disconnect between the National Guard’s role in cyber incident response when compared it is normal role in physical disasters. This research creates opportunity and future growth for homeland Security professionals to prioritize the understanding and growing role of the National Guard for public and private enterprise at the municipal and state level of cyber incident response.
LaCroix, Hunter, "RAISING THE CYBER GUARD: ANALYZING THE COST AND USE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD IN LOCAL MUNICIPAL AND STATE CYBER DEFENSE" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 559.