On July 10, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA) held a launch event and discussion of CCSA’s new capstone report, Addressing Cyber Instability, which previewed the CCSA’s forthcoming monograph on instability in cyber conflict.
As the CCSA report discusses, cyberspace is an inherently unstable national security domain. Its fundamental characteristics—such as the low cost of entry, abundant access points, and the difficulty of attribution—alter traditional power calculations. This enables non-state actors to wage proxy warfare on cyber battlefields, beyond national accountability or control. The vulnerability of national critical infrastructure endangers whole civilian populations, and places private enterprises on the front lines. Additionally, the absence of international norms and comparatively low costs of cyber attacks create incentives for nations to launch preemptive strikes in a coercive attempt to forestall more traditional kinetic conflict. In such an unstable environment, the consequences of misinterpreted signals between nations may be catastrophic.
The principal editors of the volume discussed this cyber instability and its implications for the future of cyberspace, and made key recommendations for future US and international cyber policy. The panel participants examineD the implications of an unstable environment in cyberspace for purposes of long-term strategy, military operations, domestic and international law, risk management, and other aspects of national security.
|Welcome and Opening Remarks
|Stability and Instability in National Security
|Instability in the Cyber Environment
|Panel Discussion: Addressing Cyber Instability
- Deterrence Doesn’t Work in Cyberspace: CCSA – AOL Defense
- Collaboration needed to stabilize cyberspace – Camille Tuutti, Federal Computer Week
- Stockpiling arms against cyberattacks – Washington Post
- Mulvenon: Stuxnet was Hiroshima – Fierce Government IT
This panel was made possible by the generous support of Cisco and Intelligent Decisions.