The Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at the George Washington University is a nonpartisan “think and do” tank whose mission is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity issues.  By convening domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academia, CCHS develops innovative strategies to address and confront current and future threats.

Read More

Issue Brief Series

Evaluating Intelligence and Information Sharing Networks: Examples from a Study of the National Network of Fusion Centers

October 01, 2015

In the weeks and months following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Congress and the media asked why the intelligence and law enforcement communities had failed to intercept the Tsarnaev brothers, who were known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) prior to the attack. The national conversation also focused on the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), the city’s fusion center. In general this coverage was fraught with common misconceptions, including that fusion centers are owned and operated by DHS. Even local Boston
news outlets questioned the return on investment in Boston and elsewhere. One report hastily labeled fusion centers a “flop.”

Risk-Based Security and the Aviation System: Operational Objectives and Policy Challenges

January 27, 2015

Risk-based security has been the primary strategic imperative for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the past three and a half years, as a focused effort to move beyond a one-size

Commentary Series

How California’s Drought Exacerbates the Terrorism Threat

May 12, 2015

Terrorist organizations including ISIS, Hezbollah, and al‐Qa’ida have openly promulgated a strategy of ecological jihad. In contrast to other methods employed by terrorists, environmental tactics, such as contaminating water supplies or starting fires, can be quickly planned, require little technical expertise to execute, and have lower risk of detection. Water shortages due to drought increase vulnerability to these terror methods with significant consequences for people, infrastructure, and the economy.

CCHS Twitter Feed

Op-Eds & Commentaries

Vulnerability and Resilience in the Internet of Everything

September 22, 2015

By 2020, billions of devices will be connected online. The possibilities within this Internet of Everything are innovative, extensive, and valuable. Think driverless cars, “smart” houses and cities, and critical healthcare delivered virtually to remote locations. But these developments also have a dark side. With opportunity comes challenge, in the form of vulnerability.

Economic cyber-espionage: Time to tame the dragon

September 16, 2015

Later this month, China’s President Xi Jinping will travel to the United States for a weeklong visit that will include meetings with President Obama and the United Nations. The visit comes at a time of some turbulence in the bilateral relationship whose waters have been roiled recently by multiple incidents, “from China’s activities in the South China Sea to cyberespionage.”

Economic Espionage: A Case for Why the U.S. Needs to Push Back

August 17, 2015

Randall Coleman, the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, says that much of the suspicious activity is performed by Chinese companies against U.S. firms and that the Chinese government plays “a significant role” in the attempted theft of trade secrets. It’s time to demonstrate that truly egregious actions really do have significant consequences...

Canada’s Cyber-Attack Reveals Need for Greater Government Resilience

June 25, 2015

Last Wednesday, the government of Canada was the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took down multiple federal websites, including those of the Departments of Justice, and Foreign Affairs. The hacker group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for the attack, stating in a tweet that it was executed to protest Bill C-51, the government’s then proposed anti-terrorism legislation.