Cyber & Information Operations Lead February 6-10, Washington, DC
The role of a cyber and information operations (C&IO) leader is multifaceted, combining technical expertise with strategic planning, team management, and ethical considerations. Overseeing the entire gamut of activities described in the course, this leader is the linchpin that holds various elements of a cyber operation together. This course combines in-person and online instruction using a hybrid approach to prepare operational leadership.
Cyber and Information Operations Leader (C&IO Leader) Training
February 6-10, Washington, DC
Regarding day-to-day tasks, the C&IO leader starts by reviewing Intelligence Requirements (IR) plans and coordinating with intelligence officers and analysts. They ensure that the collected data aligns with the goals of the operation. Risk assessment is another critical task; the leader reviews ongoing operations for vulnerabilities, identifies risks, and develops or adjusts mitigation strategies. They also allocate resources daily, ensuring the optimal deployment of human and technological assets. The leader stays involved in team meetings to keep a pulse on the operation's tempo and to offer guidance. These day-to-day tasks involve continuous communication with various departments, staying updated on the enemy's processes, and tweaking Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) as needed.
In terms of functions, the leader plays several roles. They are strategists, shaping the broader goals and direction of the cyber operation. They are also managers responsible for team formation, delegating, and ensuring the operation runs smoothly. They also serve as ethical gatekeepers, ensuring the operation adheres to domestic and international laws and standards. As experts in technological tools, they also ensure that the team employs the most effective and up-to-date technologies, including AI, for tasks such as data collection and content distribution. Moreover, they have a role in psychological operations, crafting messages and strategies that influence target audiences effectively.
To execute successfully in this role, the leader must possess a broad range of expertise. A deep understanding of cybersecurity is foundational, covering everything from network protocols to intrusion detection systems. A grasp of data analytics is essential for interpreting large datasets, often aided by AI tools. Project management skills are vital for overseeing complex operations and coordinating among various teams. Familiarity with legal frameworks is necessary for compliance, and ethical considerations should always inform decision-making. Leadership and people management skills are indispensable as they often must lead diverse teams, manage conflicts, and ensure the well-being of team members.
Lastly, understanding psychological principles helps craft strategies to influence public opinion or demoralize the enemy.
The C&IO leader is a hybrid professional capable of wearing many hats. They synchronize various aspects of C&IO, bridging the gap between strategy and execution while adhering to ethical and legal standards.
Introduction and Fundamentals of C&IO
Introduction to C&IO
- Introduction and course overview
- Basics of C&IO
- Importance of C&IO in Modern Warfare
- Task: group discussion to identify key challenges in C&IOTop of Form
Information Operation Cycle
- A detailed walkthrough of the C&IO cycle stages
- Task: group activity to map out a hypothetical IO cycle
Real-World Case Studies
- Analysis of Case Studies Related to C&IO
- Task: group presentation on a chosen case study
Technologies for Promoting Impact Content
- Introduction to relevant technologies
- Task: hands-on workshop to experiment with these technologies
Psychological Techniques for Influencing the Audience
- Cognitive biases and their exploitation
- Task: activity to identify biases in provided content samples
Organization of C&IO
IR Planning (Information Requirement)
- Discussion and role-playing on how to create an IR Plan
- Task: group task to draft an IR Plan for a hypothetical scenario
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
- Risk identification and mitigation techniques
- Task: workshop to perform a STEMPLES Plus analysis on a simulated operation
Resource Allocation and Team Formation
- Theory and practical aspects
- Task: group activity to allocate resources for a mock operation
Audience Research and Identification of Vulnerabilities
- Demographics, psychographics, and social behavior
- Task: hands-on task to profile a hypothetical target audience
Formation of an Impact Scenario
- Crafting key messages, deliverables, and timelines
- Task: scenario-building workshop
Understanding the Enemy's Process
- Techniques and motivations of adversaries
- Task: case study analysis of an adversary's operation
Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs)
- Exploration of TTPs in C&IO
- Task: group activity to formulate TTPs for a simulated operation
Countermeasures: What and How to Oppose
- Defensive and offensive countermeasures
- Task: workshop to design countermeasures for a case study
Legal and Ethical Considerations
- Laws and Ethics Governing C&IO
- Task: debate on ethical dilemmas in IO
Review and Assessment
- Review and assessment of content and tasks
- Task: Individual assessments to evaluate understanding and skills
AI in Cyber and Information Operations
AI in Data Collection and Analysis
- AI techniques for data collection and analysis
- Task: hands-on lab to use AI tools for data scraping and analysis
AI in Content Creation and Distribution
- Automated content creation and algorithmic distribution
- Task: workshop to create AI-generated content
AI-Driven Psychological Techniques
- Using AI for psychological impact
- Task: group activity to analyze the effectiveness of AI in shaping public opinion
Ethical and Legal Implications of Using AI
- Ethical considerations and legal frameworks
- Task: group discussion to explore ethical dilemmas in AI
AI in Countermeasures and Threat Detection
- Defensive and offensive AI countermeasures
- Task: lab to use AI tools for threat detection
Hands-On Workshop and Case Studies
- Students are divided into groups to run a simulated Information Operation with instructors acting as oversight. Tasks include crafting IR Plans, risk assessment, audience profiling, crafting an impact scenario, and using AI tools for various stages of the operation.
Final Presentations and the Practical
- Groups present their simulated operations, discussing their approach, challenges faced, and solutions implemented.
- Final Practical – Prove your learning.
- Course review, feedback, and certificates of completion
This detailed schedule aims to ensure a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience for all students enrolled in the course.
Concluding the course, the Final Examination is a practical test where students must apply everything they have learned in a final scenario. Students build upon existing exercises to complete the practical. The aim is to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of C&IO, including using theoretical knowledge in practical situations. Following the examination, the course wraps up with a review session where the instructor provides feedback on performance throughout the course. This comprehensive schedule ensures that each student graduates with a deep, hands-on understanding of C&IO, fully prepared to engage in this rapidly evolving field.
Contact us to learn more about this hybrid course and to get your team enrolled!