The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Cyber Statecraft Initiative hosted Dr. Tughral Yamin for a discussion on cyber security in South Asia, and the potential for building regional confidence building measures for the information space.
Dr. Yamin, an associate dean of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan, shared findings from his research on India and Pakistan’s cyber capabilities, and movement towards creating cyber norms. Despite a lack of consensus on cyber norms, countries throughout the world are cooperating on some level within the information space—save the South Asia region. Stressing the dangers of this void, and potentials for cascading responses to cyber skirmishes in this conflict-prone region, Dr. Yamin strongly advocated for cooperation between India and Pakistan. Government involvement is certainly limited given the trust deficit between the two and cyber security is not at the top of either’s priority list. Thus, the role of business leaders, academics, technical experts, and others with more at risk in an unrestricted information space become vital in filling the cooperation void, and creating a regulatory framework to preempt escalating cyber conflict. Building a more secure cyber space does not require lofty bilateral treaties—it begins with intentional, cross-border dialogue, and confidence-building measures.