Featured commentary & analysis

Notes from the field and analysis from our team—insights to give you practical leverage on the complex challenges of cybersecurity.

Featured in-depth research & reports

A synthesis of technical systems and policy dynamics, cybersecurity demands detailed understanding to create meaningful change. These reports dig deep into the concepts and assumptions that shape the geopolitics of cybersecurity. 

Featured event series

Leadership

Safa Shahwan

Assistant Director, Cyber Statecraft Initiative

Cyber Statecraft Initiative

Employment opportunities

Join our cause with the Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Digital Statecraft, Digital Streetcraft Podcasts

Nowadays, information technology is an essential part of any nation-state’s toolkit. And yet, in the digital space, nation-states are just a few of many actors. A mastery of cyber operations can give nation-states the advantage they need to pursue their economic, national security or foreign policy goals. But without private sector and civil society cooperation, that mastery can be difficult to achieve. Hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, Digital Statecraft Digital Streetcraft features diverse perspectives from thinkers in academia, industry and government. By bridging the worlds of statecraft and streetcraft, it examines questions at the nexus of information and communications technologies, geopolitics and national security, searching for cooperation to make cyberspace safer, more stable and more secure for all.

Episode 6: Securing the Software Supply Chain

November 4, 2019

The sheer magnitude and volume of code in software is always expanding. With many open source contributors and the opaque cloud operation of most software, there are just as many vulnerabilities as technological capabilities. In this episode, hear Michael Daly, the CTO of Raytheon, talk about this increasingly important topic: supply chain software security.

Episode 5: Digital Defenders

August 28, 2019

In this episode of Digital Statecraft, Digital Streetcraft, we are joined by Dr. Trey Herr, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative; Mariah Kenny, a recent Graduate from the University of Virginia and NCCDC UVA team captain; and Caroline Linkous, freshman and Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia. Together they discuss the importance of training and educating the next generation of cyber defenders in order to remain at the forefront of the cybersecurity field.

Episode 4: Supply Chain Security in the 21st Century

April 15, 2019

Supply chain attacks have caused some of the most damaging cyber incidents in history, including the 2017 NotPetya malware incident, and they are on the rise. The proliferation of internet-connected devices and the increased reliance of foreign manufacturing increases the attack surface for organizations and makes maintaining visibility into an entire supply chain challenging. The Atlantic Council and Raytheon facilitate a dynamic and solution-oriented discussion on mitigating supply chain risks in an increasingly-connected world.

Episode 3: Operationalizing Cyber Strategies

March 15, 2019

Early 2019 saw the biggest inflection point in US cyber strategy since 1998, with the White House, Department of Defense, and Cyber Command all publicizing new strategies. These new strategies adhering to persistent engagement will have second and third-order effects in the interconnected cyber world. The Atlantic Council and Raytheon facilitate a discussion covering whether these new strategies are the right strategies and how the US can make them work.

Episode 2: The Human Element of Cybersecurity

January 31, 2019

Humans are on the front lines of cybersecurity. As companies grow weary of disappointing “silver bullet” technical cybersecurity solutions, they need to turn to their workforce and the cyber community. Employees are more than just a weakness in the cyber perimeter; they can also be a valuable resource once equipped and educated. Employers should also be open to potential security professionals with unconventional backgrounds who can provide invaluable non-technical perspectives.

Episode 1: Protecting US Critical Infrastructure

December 21, 2018

The security of US critical infrastructure is vital to the nation’s security, prosperity, and well-being. We live in an era of constant advances in the sophistication of attack technology and the emergence of more destructive attacks and bolder nation-state actions, resulting in unprecedented access to power grid operations. Despite renewed concerns about the threat and the risks associated with potential disruptions, threats clearly outpace our ability to secure the infrastructure.

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Experts

Content

Fri, Nov 22, 2019

What do we know about cyber escalation? Observations from simulations and surveys

Do cyber operations alter how states respond to international crises in a way that creates incentives for decision makers to cross the Rubicon and use military force to settle disputes? This question is central to current cyber strategy debates and the idea of persistent engagement and defending forward in cyberspace. The answer is surprising: no. Based on the evidence, cyber operations offer a valuable escalatory offramp.

Issue Brief by Benjamin Jensen and Brandon Valeriano

Cybersecurity

Mon, Oct 28, 2019

The zero-day war? How cyber is reshaping the future of the most combustible conflicts

Conventional wisdom would suggest that scaled-up capabilities, growing competition, and the proliferation of malware across cyberspace presents a legitimate risk of escalation in state conflict, transcending the cyber domain toward the kinetic. However, recent history has shown that states have more often availed themselves of their offensive cyber arsenals to achieve surprisingly de-escalatory effects.

New Atlanticist by Simon Handler

Cybersecurity

Wed, Oct 9, 2019

How governments can use cyber tools irresponsibly to preserve power

The Kazakh case serves as an example of irresponsible cyber statecraft, when governments use cyberspace and technological tools to achieve specific political goals, placing the rights of citizens, as well as their political legitimacy, on the line.

New Atlanticist by Safa Shahwan

Central Asia Cybersecurity
Cyber security official

Tue, Sep 17, 2019

The American way of cyber warfare and the case of ISIS

The Cyber Vault collection shows the complexity in design and executing offensive cyber operations which help distinguish an ‘American way’ of cyber warfare—one that is no doubt closely mirrored by many of our allies.

New Atlanticist by JD Work

Cybersecurity

Tue, Aug 6, 2019

Atlantic Council Statement on the Appointment of Christopher Porter as National Intelligence Officer for Cyber at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

"The Atlantic Council is proud to have one of our own, Christopher Porter, selected to serve as the top intelligence officer for cyber in the US government."

Press Release by

Thu, Jul 18, 2019

Atlantic Council Announces Trey Herr as Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative

The Atlantic Council today announced Trey Herr as Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative in its Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Dr. Herr will be central to further strengthening the Initiative’s continued work on cyberspace as a tool of statecraft in an era of expanding great-power competition where geopolitics and cybersecurity increasingly overlap.

Press Release by

Tue, Jul 16, 2019

Collective defense of human dignity: the vision for NATO’s future in cyberspace

An alliance under tension, NATO today faces the challenges of burden sharing, a multipolar world full of old adversaries and emerging challengers. In “Collective Defense of Human Dignity: The Vision for NATO’s Future in Cyberspace,” Christopher Porter, a nonresident senior fellow in the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council analyzes member states struggling with […]

Issue Brief by Christopher B. Porter

Wed, Jun 5, 2019

Dark Web 2.0?

We will likely see a smaller dark web orbiting around a sophisticated criminal core using newer, but less user-friendly, anonymization protocols, while other criminals will need to operate in plain sight on the clear web to reach less-savvy customers.

New Atlanticist by Jared Zimmerman

Cybersecurity Digital Policy

Wed, May 22, 2019

Crossing the cyber Rubicon: Views from both sides of the river

Did the IDF’s airstrike ‘cross the Rubicon’ by using lethal force in response to hacking? On the weekend of May 5, a month after a truce was agreed between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, violence again rose to levels not seen since 2014.

New Atlanticist by Jack Watson and William Loomis

Cybersecurity Israel

Wed, Apr 24, 2019

Cybersecurity: Changing the model

The need to update the cybersecurity model is clear. An enhanced public-private model – based on coordinated, advanced protection and resilience – is necessary to protect key critical infrastructure sectors

Report by Franklin D. Kramer and Robert J. Butler

Cybersecurity English

Events

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

Aviation cybersecurity – scoping the challenge

The report launch event on cybersecurity in the aviation ecosystem and discussion on the results of the first-ever global survey on aviation cybersecurity.

4:00pm Washington DC