FOCAL Information Warfare DefenseTM (IW-D) Standard

The FOCAL IW-D™ Standard is designed to facilitate a whole-of-society effort to protect freedom and individual liberty. It is divided into five interlocking tenets which help organizations:

  • understand IW
  • shift culture
  • train the workforce
  • identify vulnerabilities with process technologies
  • prepare for and recover from attack, and
  • contribute to the community as a vested stakeholder



Organizations, societies, and nations developing IW-D programs are accountable according to principles of freedom and individual liberty. IW-D programs should respect the rule of law, human rights, and democratic values. A comprehensive framework is transparent and should include appropriate safeguards.  Integration with personnel security, physical security, cyber security, and process improvement frameworks is vital for program success.


No two organizations are the same. An effective IW Defense program consists of a strong analysis component which is customized for the organization, its competitive environment, and strategic goals. This includes red teaming with lessons learned, data driven vulnerability detection and cataloging, and resilience and antifragility analyses.

Communication & Crisis Response

Organizations must communicate to the world and to their workforces that they are serious about IW Defense. Brand reputation and management are critical components to maintaining a growing bottom line. IW Defense crisis response plans help organizations communicate and reduce the risk before, during, and after suspected IW attacks.

Administration and Training

Simply knowing about the possibility of IW along with relatively simple vigilance practices are a large part of an effective IW Defense program. This requires general training as well as role-specific training. Training should be highly engaging and demand effort from the entire organization.

Leadership, Culture & Community

Leadership from the top drives cultural shift and is absolutely essential. Engaged executives set the tone and communicate to the entire workforce how devastating IW can be to the organization. Leadership engagement within thought communities demonstrates commitment to IW Defense. This tenet encourages everyone to develop an IW Defense mindset.

Technical Paper

technical paper accompanies this standard, which includes an IW Attack and IW Defense Model and an Appendix with scenarios.

And, be sure to read our IW reflexive Control paper, as well: Process Mining: The Missing Capability in Information Warfare.

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