Today, the Atlantic Council released new issue briefs examining two key points in the current cyber defense and security debate: the need for an integrated governmental approach and for consensus on the fundamental strategic assumptions.

"Cyber Security: An Integrated Governmental Strategy for Progress," authored by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and Atlantic Council Vice Chairman Franklin D. Kramer, lays out a whole of government approach that would ensure that the national security functions of the U.S. government can continue to operate while under cyber attack, establish an effective public-private partnership to safeguard critical infrastructure, and limit cyber espionage and exfiltration of sensitive government information. Mr. Kramer argues in the issue brief that the U.S. government must devise a coherent strategy for the defense against cyber threats of national security importance, since "despite some excellent capabilities and efforts, the level of security thus far achieved is not yet adequate. Indeed, perhaps the most salient characteristic of cyber is the combination of its very widespread and growing use despite the fact that there are ongoing substantial attacks, some with great success."

In "Strategies for a Cybered World," U.S. Naval War College professor Chris Demchak examines the strategic assumptions of cyberspace and the nature of the cyber threat. Dr. Demchak identifies a set of “cyber communities” and recommends a way ahead to reach consensus on organizing the U.S. government’s response to cyber challenges. Dr. Demchak writes in the brief that the stakes are high if the cyber community cannot reach a consensus on the strategic issues in cyber defense and security because "the world of cybered conflict is one in which even the part-time foreign attacker can to an unprecedented degree flexibly choose the scale, proximity, and precision of any attem pted attack. They can at their leisure aim at any state’s military, government or commercial networks, or those of any of our allies, or associates."

Both publications are part of the Atlantic Council’s cyber security project which is generously sponsored by SAIC. Led by the Council’s Program on International Security, the project addresses emerging issues in the cyber security and defense realm, including international cooperation and private-public partnerships.