Author Biography

Mr. Brian Claus is a Targeting Officer for United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska and a squadron commander in the Iowa Air National Guard. He is also a 2015 USSTRATCOM Strategic Leadership Fellow at University of Nebraska Omaha where he performed research in critical infrastructure cyber defense. He received his Master’s Degree in Aerospace Studies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from South Dakota State University.

Dr. Gandhi is an Associate Professor of Information Assurance at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He received his Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research, teaching, and publications are in the areas of information assurance, regulatory requirements modeling and analysis, software assurance, certification and accreditation and risk assessment. AFOSR, NIST, NASA, NSF, DHS S&T and AFRL have supported his research. He is a member of IEEE and ACM professional communities and the DHS Software Assurance Workforce Education and Training Group.

John Crowe is a Navy veteran who is in his third year as a doctoral student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, from Creighton University. In his time at UNO, John has worked on several projects applying principles of organizational science, collaboration, and leadership to the study of both conventional and non-conventional organizations. John has assisted on the United States Strategic Command Leadership Fellows Program in which he helped develop an experiential leadership program for high performing STRATCOM civilian employees. John has presented his research at several national and international conferences, including the International Studies Association, the American Psychological Association, Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research, and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Julia Rawnsley is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Master’s of Business Administration program, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. Her research interests include environmental sustainability and the industry of death care.



Subject Area Keywords

Corporate security, Cybersecurity, Defense policy, Homeland security, Methodology, National security, Networks and network analysis, Security management, Special operations forces, Strategy


The National Guard is establishing Cyber Mission Teams (CMT) that will fulfill a federal role to backfill active duty defending Department of Defense networks, but are also exploring how they could effectively fulfill state missions. The President, Council of Governors, and USCYBERCOM Commander have expressed concerns about U.S. critical infrastructure cyber network vulnerabilities and the increasing magnitude of threat our adversaries pose to those networks’ security. This article explores using this emerging National Guard capability in a state role for protection of critical infrastructure cyber networks. Most of the critical infrastructure is privately owned. Although current executive orders and policy mandate government sharing of cyber threat information, private providers’ reciprocation of sharing their vulnerabilities is voluntary. This article contends that effective cyber defense requires strong private-public partnerships. We developed a critical infrastructure cyber defense model based upon key characteristics from the literature on private-public partnerships and performed a case study of current cyber defense partnerships to validate the model. Our research shows this model to be a useful guide for emerging National Guard Cyber Mission Forces to consider when establishing partnerships for effective critical infrastructure cyber defense.