About

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.

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Commentary Series

Counterterrorism in France: Key Questions after Charlie Hebdo

January 16, 2015

Recent terrorist attacks in Paris leave France in a difficult position - one that is at once both common to the West and yet particular to France itself. Although there must be international cooperation, each country must also chart its own course by formulating, implementing and refining a strategy that best tackles the problem as manifested locally. Our Commentary, written by CCHS Associate Director Sharon Cardash and CCHS Scholar in Residence Rhea Siers, raises a series of questions and issues that offer the beginnings of a framework for understanding the conundrum facing French officials.

Issue Brief Series

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

Putin’s Russia: A Geopolitical Analysis

November 21, 2014

The speed and audacity of Russia's annexation of Crimea earlier this year shook Eastern Europe and surprised the West. Yet the conflict in Ukraine is just one symptom of a much broader challenge, and one which the West has yet to recognize fully and respond to accordingly. Russian President Putin is much more of a revolutionary than people give him credit for being. In fact, however, he wants to reshape the world and reshuffle the international economic deck.

This Issue Brief examines events in Ukraine and beyond from a strategic perspective; and then offers a series of action recommendations intended to respond effectively to these geostrategic developments.

Raising The Bar On Cybersecurity and Acquisition

October 15, 2014

This Issue Brief explores the nexus of acquisition, components, and cybersecurity — first from the standpoint of potential vulnerabilities, and then from the perspective of remedying of them. The discussion begins in a DOD context, and subsequently expands to include critical infrastructure, and the Internet of Things. The report concludes with a series of action recommendations, targeted to different stakeholders in the defense realm, to bring the acquisition of components into alignment with a robust cybersecurity posture.

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Op-Eds & Commentaries

Fortifying the Internet of Things means baking in security at the beginning

March 06, 2015

Protecting smart devices means building cybersecurity into the design process, from hardware to software. Making security a priority at the start, instead of coming up with patches later, is the key to ensuring the growing number of connected gadgets remain safe.

Obama’s cybersecurity initiative: a start but businesses – and individuals – need to do more

February 24, 2015

The linchpin of President Obama’s recently launched cybersecurity initiative is to encourage the private sector to share information to better defend against cyberattacks. Yet US companies have historically been wary of openly talking about their cybersecurity efforts with competitors and with government — for good reason. Many businesses fear that sharing threat-related information could expose them to liability and litigation, undermine shareholder or consumer confidence, or introduce the potential for leaks of proprietary information.

Learn from France's Counter-Extremism Push

February 02, 2015

France is trying to fight fire with fire. On the heels of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, French officials are dedicating resources and marshaling instruments intended to pack a powerful counterterrorism punch. Among these is a website designed to blunt the appeal of violent Islamist ideology and thwart the Islamic State recruitment efforts that accompany it.

The Homegrown Jihadist Threat Grows

October 23, 2014

Wall Street Journal op-ed on countering online radicalization in the United States written by Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Christian Beckner.