Information operations · Information Warfare

Cyber Operational Considerations in Dense Urban Terrain


Dense Urban Terrain presents numerous challenges and opportunities to military forces due its cyber characteristics. The volume of networked devices and communications platforms offers both offensive and defensive opportunities and challenges. The intelligence and command and control capabilities that these devices offer is unparalleled in other terrain. As discussed, these devices can impact maneuver, movement, and targeting as well. Without deliberate planning by operational staffs and appropriate action, it will be difficult to conceal operations and protect high value assets. It is necessary for the military to investigate these technologies more closely, to develop techniques for mitigating/utilizing them, and to create training environments where they can be used. Given the likelihood of conducting future operations in a DUT zone, it is imperative that we prepare adequately.


The preparation for this environment of course includes continuing work on the cyber security of our networks and critical infrastructure. Many of the issues discussed can be mitigated, or taken advantage of through thorough knowledge of their cyber security and electronic properties. Training should incorporate scenarios where IOT and mobile device sensors are used offensively or defensively to alter the operation’s outcome.   Just as we learned to camouflage personnel and equipment to protect against visual detection and radars, troops need to learn how to camouflage operations from these networked sensors. Intelligence personnel need to learn about the data offered by these sensors and how to acquire that data. This can improve their IPB and their targeting. Electronic warfare units need to understand the evolving spectrum they face and the nature of the devices they will attempt to surveil or jam. Finally, continued research needs to be done to improve signal propagation models and signal processing algorithms so that planning tools and the use GPS devices within an urban environment can be improved.

Cyber Operational Considerations in Dense Urban Terrain

by Paul MaxwellAndrew Hall and Daniel Bennett

Journal Article | July 12, 2017 – 4:02pm


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