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Command, Control, and Communications Subsystem

Abstract

Subsystems are evidence-based models for ensuring that competent individuals complete specific functions in a timely manner. In the identified organization, the proposed command, control, and communications (C3) framework will transform operations and guide leaders to identify new or initial technologies that have the potential to deliver positive results. The C3 subsystem model has been effective in supporting the level of coordination and performance in the military. Companies and business firms can consider the attributes of this model if they want to transform the experiences of the targeted clients and improve the overall coordination of their efforts.

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The main theme of the proposed project is that of improved coordination. The ultimate goal behind any CS subsystem is to deliver a seamless process of communication whereby data, images, and voices are transmitted to maximize the nature of available responses for the most efficient output. The presence of high-quality resources and infrastructure within a given organization will ensure that information is managed, coded, and transmitted efficiently to meet the demands of all stakeholders. The major objectives of the proposed project include: identifying and introducing the right technological aspects that can result in a stable C3 subsystem in the selected organization, presenting evidence-based approaches for implementing the designed subsystem successfully and outlining the unique practices and strategies that have the potential to transform or improve the levels of efficiency and performance.

The current wave of globalization is a major force that is dictating the goals and procedures many organizations undertake to achieve their aims. The targeted firm has been recording positive results due to the use of modern technologies to streamline communication. However, there are specific gaps and challenges that support the decision to introduce a new C3 subsystem. Firstly, the existing communication and information-sharing practices are critical issues that explain why the current system needs to be upgraded. Secondly, different agencies in the sector are embracing the use of modern technologies to achieve their aims. This situation presents a case for introducing a superior subsystem that will ensure that all interlinked organizations perform optimally. Thirdly, the changing security issues and Internet-based attacks explain why it would be necessary to consider the decision to introduce a better subsystem. These developments will make it possible for the identified organization to achieve its goals much faster. These needs are valid and capable of disorienting the effectiveness and integrity of information sharing and responsive support.

The initial technologies at this organization are pertinent to the perceived need. For instance, some of the current resources are outdated, thereby increasing the possibility of potential phishing and hacking. The nature of modern technology means that new resources and devices will emerge continuously that are faster and more reliable, and the failure to adopt these may result in the loss of competitive advantage. This fact explains why continuous development and improvement of C3 subsystems is a powerful strategy for supporting the objectives of any given organization. In conclusion, the consideration of these aspects and possibilities explain why it would be necessary to undertake the intended development project and implement the targeted C3 subsystem in the identified organization. This approach will support the delivery of high-quality and timely results.

Summary

As the size and scope of various businesses worldwide increase, new issues emerge that require a response. In large international companies, communication and oversight become problematic due to the distance, hierarchy, and sometimes language barriers, as well as a sheer number of departments and smaller units and sub-units involved. As a result, they can be uncoordinated, and issues would develop without an opportunity for upper management to notice or address them. To address these concerns, businesses worldwide have been developing frameworks that use the latest available communications technology. However, their increasing digitalization has created opportunities for malicious actors to find and exploit system vulnerabilities for illegal and damaging purposes. Data breaches and instances of hacking occur regularly, harming millions of customers as a result. As a consequence, an efficient communication framework for any given organization has to promote coordination by minimizing the risks of misunderstanding and improving cybersecurity at the same time.

This project aims to investigate the concept of the command, control, and communications (C3) subsystem, which initially emerged in military applications. Armies have to deal with many of the same issues described above and need to maintain their flexibility and capacity for rapid response. Moreover, the constant innovation in military systems forces them to regularly adopt new technology and incorporate it into existing frameworks. However, the military is not the only setting that faces challenges that require adaptation to the swiftly changing environment and swift implementation of efficient responses. Many civilian organizations, especially business ventures of all types, encounter similar challenges on a regular basis and have to develop adequate responses to them. As such, knowledge of the systems used in the military for secure and quick communication and coordination may be beneficial to other types of organizations, including those in civilian settings. To that end, this project will explore the technological requirements of C3, approaches that can be used to implement it, and its practices and strategies that can improve performance.

Throughout this study, the author expects to obtain an improved understanding of how organizations communicate, both on the same level and between different ones. They will learn about the measures that businesses currently take to address their communication-related concerns, particularly their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, they will evaluate the advantages and challenges involved in implementing a C3 system, both technological and organizational. They will learn how the military deals with cybersecurity threats and whether the measures that it uses can be transferred to other contexts. Overall, this project will likely be beneficial to both the author and the various industries that are interested in efficient and secure communications.

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Problem Statement

Organizations around the world have struggled with effective communications for a long time. As a result, they would adopt any significant improvements that emerged as soon as possible because of the potential benefits. Recently, the emergence of the Internet and the various efficiency improvements, through both faster information transfers and the opportunities for automation, have changed the landscape of organizational communication. However, as Ganapathi (2016) notes, while the new methods are convenient and have been adopted widely, they also have issues due to the lack of face-to-face contact, which can lead to misunderstandings. If the information that is being transferred to a manager or from them is misinterpreted, the overall performance of the organization can suffer as a result.

To combat this tendency, managers are trying to institute strict control measures that would enable them to receive accurate information and oversee the progress of the various initiatives that they introduce. However, as Mullakhmetov (2016) claims, management is highly complex, and an effective and robust framework is required to address every concern. As such, organizations are struggling to create a system that would accommodate the entirety of the managers’ needs. Attempts to achieve this goal tend to be isolated, and a universally successful standard has not been adopted worldwide. Additional research is required before organizations worldwide can adapt to the challenges posed by the new modes of communication.

The increased availability of long-distance access and communications have also increased the threat of an external attack. Cybersecurity is considerably more complicated than physical protection, and a malicious individual will often only need a computer and knowledge of a security issue to damage an organization. As a result, numerous hackers have emerged with motives ranging from financial gain to personal enjoyment (Sirohi, 2016). As a result of an attack, critical infrastructure can be compromised, critical data can be stolen, and a variety of other significant issues can occur. Depending on the organization in question, attacks can lead to losses of money, valuable resources, or possibly human lives. As such, both of the issues described warrant a robust response that can address them.

Addressing both these issues in terms of communication within a business organization requires a robust and comprehensive cybersecurity network that will decrease the risk incidence. The importance of cybersecurity for countering external attacks against sensitive data is evident, as digital threats require urgent and effective responses in all domains and fields. Cameron and Marcum (2019) are right to note that all digitally stored information is potentially vulnerable to shutdowns, system infiltrations, ransomware demands, and other types of cyber-attacks, thus making cybersecurity a priority for most organizations. However, cybersecurity also has the potential to decrease the dangers associated with misunderstanding. While the adverse effects of misinterpreted information are harmful as they are, this harm may become even greater if an infiltrator is able to use it with malicious intent. Hence, while cybersecurity does not reduce the risk of misunderstanding per se, it reduces the risk of it being exploited by a hostile actor. Therefore, cybersecurity as a problem partially encompasses the dangers associated with misunderstanding as well, which is why one may perceive it as one of the main problems worth investigating in terms of communication quality in organizations.

Significance of the Problem

It can be challenging to evaluate the direct effect of misunderstandings during communication because of the high subjectivity involved and the difficulty of obtaining accurate information. However, organizational performance is likely to improve once these issues are resolved due to the increased flexibility and ability to respond to developing situations. The increased transparency would likely make it easier to identify internal issues and address them. Additionally, managers would be able to oversee the implementation of various initiatives more directly and introduce corrections if necessary. Overall, communication improvements offer numerous opportunities for superior performance, though it may be challenging to quantify them.

The effects of cybersecurity failures are more significant and noteworthy because of the numerous past incidents associated with them. Gupta, Agrawal, and Wang (2019) discuss numerous attack incidents, which involved airports, government facilities, hospitals, and nuclear plants. Kumar and Kumar (2017) express a concern that smart power grids, which were developed to manage the supply and demand of energy, can be targeted and compromised. A successful attack on a critical infrastructure object could be devastating, potentially causing enormous damage. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that many organizations across multiple domains do not have personnel sufficiently well-versed in the matters of cybersecurity and protection from external attacks. Cameron and Marcum (2019) note that civilian organizations, military, private security contractors, and the government itself all feel a shortage of capable of implementing and monitoring cybersecurity solutions and technologies. Moreover, attackers will often use vulnerabilities of which the organization is not aware, making attack detection challenging. As such, an attacker will frequently have the advantage and be able to achieve their goal, which makes attack prevention critical.

Another weakness of contemporary attack management methods is that the measures used in responses tend to reduce the effectiveness and convenience of the organization’s systems. This consideration applies in most scenarios that involve the possibility of an attack, regardless of the framework used. Couretas (2018) claims that any prevention or response measures disrupt the operations of a BMC3 system, where BM stands for battle management, and an understanding of the risks involved is necessary before any response. If an organization devotes excessive effort to reinforcing its security, its other activities will be compromised. As such, it is necessary to maintain a balance between performance and security.

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Alternative Actions

One option to improve the quality of communications is to develop an approach that is suitable for a variety of multi-department organizations. Levinthal and Workiewicz (2018) discuss the nearly decomposable approach, where different sections of the business interact internally with a high degree of detail and formulate aggregate communications between each other. While such a system would reduce the degree of direct managerial control, it would also enable them to focus on the strategic aspects of management. In massive multinational companies, leaders may not have enough time to oversee the individual performance of every department and prefer to focus on the details. It can also create a better framework for the exercise of initiative that furthers the management’s overall goals in the organization’s departments and smaller units and sub-units. However, this approach may not be suitable for every scenario and does not address security directly.

A solution corresponding to this approach would be Semantic Web technologies. These technologies rest on the premise that different units and subunits within the same organization may use different standards and formats of processing and storing data as well as different protocols. Semantic Web technologies rest in creating common and widely used ontologies based on shared concepts. Ip et al. (2019) point out that Semantic Web technologies are among the most viable means of delivering information across organizational boundaries swiftly and efficiently. Thus, ontologies based on shared concepts decrease the possibility of miscommunication and all the risks that are associated with it.

Moreover, Semantic Web technologies and the ontologies they create have considerable potential in the field of cybersecurity as el. Syed et al. (2016) make the demonstration of this potential the staple of their analysis. According to them, Semantic Web technologies allow the integration of data on security policies and protocols used in different units and subunits of a given organization and provide for the effective transaction of this data between the interested parties. Apart from that, Georgescu and Smeoreanu (2017) also demonstrate that ontologies created with the help of Semantic Web technologies to detect the activities of black hat hackers. The knowledge acquired from this analysis may be used proactively to structure the communications within a given organization in a way that would provide fewer openings and opportunities to the hackers. Thus, just as Semantic Web technologies are useful for mitigating the risks of misinterpreting information, they can also benefit the organization’s cybersecurity and make digital communication safer overall. However, as mentioned above, Semantic Web technologies do not increase security level per se – they merely improve the exchange of information that may lead to such an increase.

The second alternative approach is to continue developing communications and control frameworks in isolated organizational environments. Soriano (2016) describes the process as one of defining subsystems and establishing the interfaces between them. However, with this method, the success of the endeavor relies heavily on the competence of the experts who are implementing it and may be prone to human error, which is responsible for a considerable percentage of security breaches in digital communication. Moreover, the system’s designers will sometimes overlook security concerns, leaving opportunities for attackers to infiltrate the systems. Okcu (2016) discusses how, in the past, actors have been able to hijack unmanned military aircraft, record their data, and identify command centers. It is highly challenging to create an entirely secure system, and it will likely need continuous adjustments.

This approach is best served by a number of solutions addressing the weakest component of any security system – the people. As mentioned above, creating isolated communications and control frameworks depends on the competence of those developing, maintaining, and using them to the utmost degree. Nobles (2018) reminds that a considerable portion of cybersecurity breaches in communication stems from human-enabled errors. Cameron and Marcum (2019) also point out that the qualified specialists well-versed in the matters of cybersecurity are in short supply in both military and civilian contexts. Considering this, training the specialists responsible for the development and maintenance of the isolated communications and control frameworks as well as the personnel that will operate them becomes essential in this scenario. Cameron and Marcum (2019) caution against the dangers of technological determinism and note that technologies alone will not suffice to ensure security, even in the case of an isolated system. However, this approach is inherently limited, as there is no way to guarantee the strict adherence to data protection protocols, and human-enabled errors will always remain a possibility.

The last approach that was analyzed involves using recent technological advances and the high availability of cloud-based services. Bhanu, Babu, and Trimurthy (2016) propose the implementation of a Web-based, continuously evolving communications system that can be rapidly adjusted to match the current needs of the organization. Depending on the implementation, the system may be able to answer emerging communications needs rapidly and enable security adjustments. However, as it would be stored in a remote location, the danger of a remote attack that uses universal and resource-intensive methods, such as a denial-of-service approach, increases.

This particular technological solution provides for extensive automation and reuse, thus ensuring swift communication without compromising security too much. Bhanu, Babu, and Trimurthy (2016) specifically emphasize that the dynamic nature of the system allows addressing security concerns as they arise in a quick and reliable manner. As noted above, devoting greater resources to security may affect performance negatively. The emphasis on the lightweight code in this approach allows to partially alleviate this effect. However, the implementation of a Web-based, continuously evolving communications system also exerts considerable pressure on the organization’s resources. As noted by Bhanu, Babu, and Trimurthy (2016), “Implementation of WEB services requires huge amount of storage area processing power and porting of the technologies which are required for interacting with internet world” (p. 385). Hence, while reasonably effective in terms of ensuring cybersecurity and preventing misunderstanding in communication, the implementation of this technological solution tends to be quite costly.

The comparison of these possible avenues of approach suggests that the use of Semantic Web technologies is the preferable option to alleviate the risks of misunderstanding and improve communication. Its advantage in this respect stems directly from the fact that making the communication more efficient by creating ontologies based on shared concepts is the primary goal of this particular solution, as noted by Syed et al. (2016). When compared to the creation of C3 frameworks in isolated organizational environments with the emphasis on training in security protocols, it provides for more efficient communication between different parts of a heterogeneous organizational framework. When compared to the implementation of a Web-based, continuously evolving communications system, it is not as adaptive but ensures greater compatibility between the frameworks and the standards used in different units of an organization. Based on that, one may conclude that Semantic Web technologies and the ontologies they create are a preferable way of dealing with misinterpretation of information in communication when applied to civilian settings.

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In terms of cybersecurity and protection from external attacks, Semantic Web technologies also appear to be a preferable option when compared to the other two. As a rule, contemporary attack management methods in cybersecurity are reactive rather than proactive and rely on response measures activated after an attack is detected. However, Georgescu and Smeoreanu (2017) point out that the implementation of Semantic Web technologies allows taking a proactive approach in this respect and identify potential attacks before they occur. While it does not cancel the necessity of rigorous training in the matters of cybersecurity, it can help to structure the communications within an organization in a way that will be conducive to greater security. When compared to the Web-based, dynamically evolving communications system, this option does not put as much pressure on the organization’s financial resources. With this in mind, one may conclude that Semantic Web technologies are, at the very least, a promising avenue of approach to improve the security of communications in a civilian setting.

Finally, when evaluating and comparing possible options, one should also consider the theoretical approach they are based on and the organizational context of their potential implementation. The emphasis in rigorous training in the matters of communication to reduce the risks of human-induced errors and misunderstanding if security vulnerabilities they promote is not equally applicable in most organizations. It may demonstrate better results in hierarchical organizations pursuing efficiency and security, even it when entails high costs – that is, in military or law enforcement settings. However, business organizations that have to balance costs and efficiency more precariously and feature less centralized and hierarchical structure will benefit from the solution that corresponds to its nature. Departments of a business organization will likely have a greater degree of autonomy and initiative than the units in the military, which is why the nearly decomposable approach will be e preferable way to proceed in such a context. Since Semantic Web technologies is a solution that suits this particular approach, thus making it a preferable option for improving communication in a business setting specifically.

Recommendation

A preliminary investigation into the applicability of the C3 model in non-military organizations is warranted. An adjustment will likely be necessary because of their non-hierarchical nature and the relative independence of various departments in a business or other organization compared to most armies. However, it is unlikely to be significant enough to render the approach invalid or overly challenging to implement. There are likely beneficial aspects in C3 that can be transplanted to most organizations without incurring high costs or affecting their operations adversely. An investigation would be able to discover those tools and identify ways in which they can benefit communications in various contexts. However, the applicability of C3 to civilian settings and business in particular in terms of cybersecurity specifically should not pose too much of a challenge because both setting face largely the same problems. The lack of well-trained specialists and operators able to reduce the incidence of human-induced errors and the risk of cyber-attacks remains an issue for military and civilian organizations. Hence, the solutions found in any of the two settings may benefit the development of secure communication and control frameworks in both settings.

The second recommendation would be to analyze the communication experiences of various organizations and the measures that they have taken to improve their managerial control and security. In doing so, the researcher would be able to identify the current practical issues facing the organization. Additionally, the investigation would provide examples of the potential implementation of the C3 approach by identifying opportunities for improvement. The organizations in question can benefit from specific recommendations created as a result of the analysis. Overall, a practical case study would contribute significantly to the overall analysis of the potential benefits of the adoption of C3.

An analysis of the other paradigms aimed at the improvement of coordination and control in various organizations is also warranted. It would be beneficial for the comparison between the usefulness of C3 and that of the other methods that have been tried. While C3 may offer some advantages over the systems that are currently being used, its benefits may not necessarily be high enough to justify widespread implementation. It is necessary to evaluate how well C3 will apply in civilian setting in multi-department organizations that feature greater autonomy in their departments and are not as hierarchically organized as the military. The comparison can help determine the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, letting different organizations choose suitable ones. Moreover, a new method may emerge as a result of the comparison, one that combines aspects of both of those mentioned above.

References

  1. Bhanu, J., Babu, A. V., & Trimurthy, P. (2016). Implementing dynamically evolvable communication with embedded systems through web services. International Journal of Electrical & Computer Engineering, 6(1), 381-398.
  2. Cameron, E. A., & Marcu, T. M. (2019). Why business schools must incorporate cybersecurity into the business curriculum: Preparing the next generation for success. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 19(4), 25-33.
  3. Couretas, J. M. (2018). An introduction to cyber modeling and simulation. New York, NY: Wiley.
  4. Ganapathi, N. (2016). Internal communication in the international organisations – the influence of technology. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 5(5), 52-58.
  5. Georgescu, T. M., & Smeureanu, I. (2017). Using ontologies in cybersecurity field. Informatica Economică, 21(3), 5-15.
  6. Gupta, B. B., Agrawal, D. P., & Wang, H. (eds.). (2019). Computer and cyber security: Principles, algorithm, applications, and perspectives. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  7. Ip, A., Francis, W., Car, N., & Lescinsky, D. (2019). Geophysical Research Abstracts, 21, EGU2019-11615-2.
  8. Kumar, R., & Kumar, A. (2017). Novel risk assessment framework for smart grid. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science, 8(7). Web.
  9. Levinthal, D. A., & Workiewicz, M. (2018). When two bosses are better than one: Nearly decomposable systems and organizational adaptation. Organization Science, 29(2), 207-224.
  10. Mullakhmetov, K. (2016). Control in the system of managerial decisions procedures: A conceptual view. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 14(3), 64-76.
  11. Nobles, C. (2018). Botching human factors in cybersecurity in business organizations. Holistica, 9(3), 71-88.
  12. Okcu, H. (2016). Operational requirements of unmanned aircraft systems data link and communication systems. Journal of Advances in Computer Networks, 4(1), 28-32.
  13. Sirohi, M. N. (2016). Understanding network centric warfare. New Delhi, India: Vij Books India Private Limited.
  14. Soriano, J. L. (2016). Maximizing benefits from IT project management: From requirements to value delivery. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  15. Syed, Z., Padia, A., Finin, T., Mathews, L., & Joshi, A. (2016). UCO: A unified cybersecurity ontology. In Martinez, D. R., Streilein, W. W., Cater, C. N., & Sinha, A. (Eds.), The workshops of the thirtieth AAAI conference on artificial intelligence: Technical reports WS-16-01, pp. 195-202. Phoenix, AZ: AAAI Press.

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