Research Paper Proposal

Subject: Technology
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 957
Topics: Cyber Security, Innovation


Increased interconnectedness of the United States and other nations in cyberspace creates unique challenges and security threats for the country. Every day we contend with threats targeting everyday mundane activities, the banking and financial services industry, critical infrastructure, and towards our national security apparatus. Increased reliance on digital technology means that even those who are not connected are not exempt from the impacts of cybercrimes. For instance, cyber attacks can result in increased costs, loss of private personal data, or terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure (Fonseca & Rosen, 2017). 

IT and Amercian innovativeness have transformed every facet of our daily lives. From recreation to education and business to banking, our country is dependent on cell phones, telecommunications, computers, PDAs and networks that interlink these technologies together. Virtually, all data and voice communications are relayed over the internet. Technology has provided the country with immeasurable convenience making daily transactions seamless, affordable, interactive, and efficient. Regrettably, these valuable technologies also offer malicious individuals, criminals, and even terrorists with tools for committing public harm as well as economic crimes. 

Consequently, the homeland security threat landscape is not solely the prerogative of the federal, state, private, or local domains; it is a national sphere in which cyber threats and security efforts (solutions) are continually evolving. With the problem of cybersecurity increasingly gaining attention in recent days, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tasked with the oversight, resources, personnel, and technologies for creating a cybersecurity awareness and response program (Hewes Jr, 2016). However, in most instances, cybersecurity remains an afterthought typically delegated to Chief Information Officers or Technology Officers. On the contrary, this should not be the case as cybersecurity should be viewed as a vital practice for conducting critical business and mission-critical activities that rely on the security of information and related infrastructures. 

Research Question

For these reasons, having the right cybersecurity strategy, technological infrastructure, and personnel ready to respond to any instances of cyber attacks is a critical aspect of homeland security. Accordingly, this research paper poses the question: how optimal is the DHS’s role in achieving the goals of US national cybersecurity policy and objectives? (Center for Innovation in Research & Teaching, n.d; SUNY State Empire College, n.d).   In answering this question, this thesis will assess the DHS’s evolution, its cyber-security responsibility and conduct reviews of the role of the National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), and Director of National Intelligence (DNI). 


The purpose of this research is to determine to what extent the DHS can guarantee the cybersecurity needs of the nations critical digital infrastructure. The current cybersecurity landscape is characterized by a multiplicity of overlapping agencies. In turn this results in the multiplication of duties and responsibilities in the federal government. Typically, responses to cyber attacks originate involve different and often conflicting department and agencies with little or no coordination of resources or internal communication (Dean & McDermott, 2017). In some instances, it is challenging determining which department should exercise oversight or take responsibility. As a result, precious resources are depleted instead of being adequately utilized for the intended goal. Clear demarcation of agency responsibility will result in savings in human resource allocation, reduction in agency costs, alleviate interagency turf wars, minimize duplication of efforts, enhanced understanding of threat levels, and increase homeland cybersecurity. 

Accordingly, this research paper’s objectives include

  • Conduct a legislative and policy analysis that examines the evolution of national cybersecurity policies. This analysis will help determined DHS’ present role (White, 2016).
  • Provided the eraser with a general overview of the evolution of the  various security agencies (the FBI, DOD, DNI, and NSA) and their corresponding cybersecurity mandates
  • An assessment of the Sony Pictures Entertainment cyber attack and
  • Identifying the gaps in the current cybersecurity policy as well as the DHS’s role a provide recommendations for mitigating any identified weaknesses

Research Design 

With these issues in mind, the objectives of this research paper are:

  • To critically analyze the federal government and DHS policies in the light of current legislation. The analysis will be performed chronologically, from the past to the present providing the relevant historical precedents and rationales (Johnson, 2014). Also, the analysis will conduct an evaluation of cybersecurity requirements and how the DHS can meet those requirements
  • To provide a summary of each security agency, and its associated roles form the past to the present day. Also, an evaluation of how each agency operates will be offered in accordance with  the laws and directives applicable to each entity.
  • An analysis of the Sony cyber attack incidence will be used to meet the third objective. The analysis of this incidence will look at the conditions that led to the attack, how the attack unfolded, and terminate with a review of the attack’s aftermath and impacts. In addition to that, the effectiveness of the subsequent investigation will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness, shortcomings, and its significance to the future of US cybersecurity strategy and policy.
  • Finally, the fourth objective will highlight the gaps and shortcomings identified in the three objectives above of the current cybersecurity policy. Furthermore, this section will also provide recommendations and suggest solutions for adoption in strengthening our homeland security policy and cyber security readiness useful in mitigating or eliminating cyber threats.

In conclusion, it is hoped that this research proposal will achieve the objectives highlighted above and build upon the foundation of present knowledge of the relationship between cybersecurity and homeland security. As its subject matter pertains to issues of pertinent concern to the federal government, state agencies, individuals, and foreign governments, the author will desire to demonstrate the applicability of its research content. In this way, the author will have accomplished the tasks set out in this proposal. 

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  1. Center for Innovation in Research & Teaching. (n.d). Writing a Good Research Question. Retrieved 09 November 2017 from
  2. Dean, B., & McDermott, R. (2017). A Research Agenda to Improve Decision Making in Cyber Security Policy. Penn. St. JL & Int’l Aff., 5, 29-164.
  3. Fonseca, B., & Rosen, J. D. (2017). The new US security agenda: Trends and emerging threats. Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan.
  4. Hewes Jr, C. A. (2016). Threat and challenges of cyber-crime and the response. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 81(2), 4.
  5. Johnson, M. D. (2014). Department of Homeland Security Efforts. Coast Guard Journal of Safety & Security at Sea, Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council, 71(4).
  6. SUNY State Empire College. (n.d). Developing a Research Question. Retrieved 09 November 2017 from
  7. University of North Carolina. (n.d). Thesis Statements. Retrieved 09 November 2017 from
  8. White, J. (2016). Cyber Threats and Cyber Security: National Security Issues, Policy and Strategies. Global Security Studies, 7(4).
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