The Fog of War: Uncertainty of Information Trustworthiness in Wars

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Table of Contents

  • Information Environment Discussion:
  • Decision Making for Cyber
  • Critical Discussion
  • References

War is nothing but a state in which more than one person, committees, parties are involved. As the fog of war concept says it is the uncertainty of mistrust, which is experienced by the partakers in military operations. In addition, the result may be of limited intelligence, ignorance about the battlefield. In this, at the start of war or battle, we cannot assume what will happen or what the situation will occur. In addition, if any situation occurs then it depends on how the partakers will respond or handle the situation. It pertains to the experience of individual soldiers. As the areas, directions, and perspectives are confusing. There are countless historical examples of the fog of war. However, if we take a real-time example like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) game. Nowadays, people play this game a lot. This game takes the user's data like name, location-mail id. However, users are not aware that their data may be stored somewhere and may their information can be used for any unauthorized work. This makes them prone to the fog of war. In addition, the solution for that is, each user should have some basic knowledge of security related to that system.

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Information Environment Discussion:

The definition of information environment says that it is an aggregate of someone’s, associations or systems that collect process or transmit the information from one network to another network. That means, it is nothing but there are a bunch of systems that are connected and they share or communicate within the network. In addition, it can be defined as 'the environment in which the application area presents is the building block of an information environment' and the system interacts with each other with its environment, by responding to it. They also consist of first servers through which we can communicate with the world, secondly databases which store huge amount of data and lastly networks through which the connection are established. Additionally, it represents a set of factors, resources, and processes, which demonstrate the knowledge that has been accumulated and used by a specific person, society and community.

As information plays an important role in every type of field. As it provides an opportunity to exchange information between and among us. In the field of cybersecurity, a group of people works together, shares information. However, sometimes there is an uncertainty happens. Nowadays people use computers to store the data. On the other hand, cybercrimes are increasing and attacks are getting smarter day by day. For example, in an organization a group of people working on a secret project. In addition, while working on that project some mishaps happened. That is some unauthorized user hacks the project and its related information. In this type of situation, at that point we cannot control the situation instead of that we can make some quick decisions. In addition, in the future to avoid this type of situation we can protect the systems by adding some smart strategies and we can timely upgrade the advanced security policies.

Decision Making for Cyber

Cyber-attacks are designed to affect human behavior by creating confusion and information overload. Cyber-attacks may create a situation worse than the time before the information age because decision-makers under cyber-attacks do not only tackle the challenge of lack of information but also lose their trust in the available information under cyber-attack. The implications and consequences of this phenomenon are serious. Therefore, practical solutions and procedures against it should be developed, tested and trained, which requires effective simulation tools and techniques. When it comes to taking any decisions in cyber the following situations may happen like poor communication with team members, disagreement, project delays, etc. In addition, without clearly defined processes there is confusion about how things work and who should be involved, leading to conflict, misunderstandings, and surprises.

As when it comes to attacking, then an attacker can be an insider or an outsider. The attacker may learn all the cryptographic information owned by a compromised node when it is an insider. Therefore, insider attackers can organize stealthy active attacks. In other words, an insider can be perceived as a legal entity inside the network. An outsider is typically not welcome to the network. Therefore, we cannot assume who is the attacker. In addition, cybersecurity cannot be static. Every day something new is happening. Therefore, it is difficult for humans to take any permanent decision about any issue, as it is uncertain. Therefore, here decision-making is necessary. In addition, whoever makes the decision should have experience with these types of issues. Therefore, they can take proper decisions. The issues are happened due to power may off, network problem or the data might be access by some unauthorized user.

Critical Discussion

In cyber security, uncertainty is naturally a challenge that all executives face when they have to make decisions. Decision problems often involve uncertainty about the effects of possible actions. Currently, existing decision support methods use to either ignore this uncertainty or reduce existing information to simplify the process. However, such approaches lose a lot of information. Therefore, in this case, we need to take proper decision to store information at a safe place. In addition, risk management is involved in the organization. Many existing risk management methodologies attempt to improve the process of understanding and responding to potential future events. The first decision for an organization will be how much risk management to do and maintain right balance between the amounts of effort spent on risk management activity along the benefits brought by the insight it provides.


  1. “The fog of war” by Col. Lonsdale Hale, Royal Engineers (retired), Aldershot Military Academy, March 24, 1896.
  2. See Webster, Frank. Theories of the Information Society. Second ed. London, New York: Routledge, 2003. P. 6
  3. Brikše, Inta. Informācijas vides izpratne Latvijas kontekstā (Understanding the information environment in the Latvian context). In: Ozoliņa, Žaneta (ed.) Addressing the Future – Countries, Societies and the World, international conference reports, Rīga, 11–14 November 2004. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2005. P. 317.
  4. GOLDSTEIN, I.P. PIE: A network-based personal information environment. In Proceedings of the Office Semantics Workshop (Chatham, Mass., June 1980).
  5. Davenport, Thomas H. Information Ecology: Mastering Information and Knowledge Environment. P. 29.
  6. A. Fielder, E. Panaousis, P. Malacaria, C. Hankin, and F. Smeraldi, 'Decision support approaches for cybersecurity investment,' Decision Support Systems, vol. 86, pp. 13–23, 2016

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