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All in-depth research & reports

Mon, Sep 13, 2021

Cyber defense across the ocean floor: The geopolitics of submarine cable security

The vast majority of intercontinental global Internet traffic—upwards of 95 percent—travels over undersea cables that run across the ocean floor. The construction of new submarine cables is a key part of the constantly changing physical topology of the Internet worldwide. However, this dependence is not matched by increased security, leaving our undersea cables—the core of the global internet—at risk.

Report by Justin Sherman

Cybersecurity Europe & Eurasia

Thu, Aug 26, 2021

Countering ransomware: Lessons from aircraft hijacking

Ransomware has plagued organizations for more than a decade, but the last three years have experienced a surge in both the number of incidents and the ransoms demanded. To more effectively counter ransomware, the US government should develop a strategy that draws on lessons learned from addressing a surge in aircraft hijackings through the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In-Depth Research & Reports by Simon Handler, Emma Schroeder, Frances Schroeder, and Trey Herr

Cybersecurity Terrorism

Mon, Jul 12, 2021

Reassessing RuNet: Russian internet isolation and implications for Russian cyber behavior

This issue brief examines recent “RuNet” developments and explores how they could elevate national security risks for the United States and Europe by changing the internet landscape in Russia and potentially shifting Russian cyber behavior.

Issue Brief by Justin Sherman

Cybersecurity Europe & Eurasia

Mon, Jun 28, 2021

Collective cybersecurity for the Three Seas

In Central and Eastern Europe’s Three Seas region, twelve countries have joined together to invest in critical infrastructure projects and increase interconnectivity on energy, infrastructure, and digitization efforts along the way. To strengthen the resilience of these technical investments and better bind together the defensive cybersecurity operations of these societies, Three Seas member states should establish a regional hub for cybersecurity together with key private sector partners.

Report by Safa Shahwan Edwards, Simon Handler, Trey Herr, Adam Marczyński, and Jakub Teska

Central Europe Cybersecurity

Mon, May 10, 2021

What would Winston do? Cooperative approaches toward securing the Five Eyes information environment

Given the global prevalence of English, the countries comprising the Five Eyes intelligence alliance should build upon existing proven frameworks to cooperate to secure their shared information environment.

Issue Brief by Daniel Dobrowolski, David V. Gioe, and Trey Herr

Cybersecurity Disinformation

Mon, May 10, 2021

Mission resilience: Adapting defense aerospace to evolving cybersecurity challenges

While aerospace presents inherently distinct challenges from other spaces, defense organizations could look to the private sector and adapt commercial practices to implement the principles of resilience.

Report by Simon Handler, Trey Herr, Steve Luczynski, and Reed Porada

Cybersecurity Defense Industry

Mon, Mar 29, 2021

Broken trust: Lessons from Sunburst

The story of trust is an old one, but the Sunburst cyber-espionage campaign was a startling reminder of the United States’ collective cyber insecurity and the inadequacy of current US strategy to compete in a dynamic intelligence contest in cyberspace.

Report by Trey Herr, Will Loomis, Emma Schroeder, Stewart Scott, Simon Handler, and Tianjiu Zuo

Cybersecurity Intelligence

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

A primer on the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities

Offensive cyber capabilities run the gamut from sophisticated, long-term disruptions of physical infrastructure to malware used to target human rights journalists. As these capabilities continue to proliferate with increasing complexity and to new types of actors, the imperative to slow and counter their spread only strengthens.

Issue Brief by Winnona DeSombre, Michele Campobasso, Dr. Luca Allodi, Dr. James Shires, JD Work, Robert Morgus, Patrick Howell O’Neill, and Dr. Trey Herr

Arms Control Conflict

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

Countering cyber proliferation: Zeroing in on Access-as-a-Service

The proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities (OCC) presents an expanding set of risks to states and challenges commitments to protect openness, security, and stability in cyberspace. Access as a Service firms offer various forms of “access” to target data or systems, and through these business practices are creating and selling OCC at an alarming rate. It is imperative that governments reevaluate their approach to countering the proliferation of OCC.

Report by Winnona DeSombre, James Shires, JD Work, Robert Morgus, Patrick Howell O’Neill, Luca Allodi, and Trey Herr

Arms Control Cybersecurity

Mon, Feb 1, 2021

Pathologies of obfuscation: Nobody understands cyber operations or wargaming

National security and defense professionals have long utilized wargames to better understand hypothetical conflict scenarios. With conflict in the cyber domain becoming a more prominent piece in wargames in the national security community, this issue brief seeks to identify the common pathologies, or potential pitfalls, of cyber wargaming.

In-Depth Research & Reports by Nina Kollars and Benjamin Schechter

Cybersecurity National Security

The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, works at the nexus of geopolitics and cybersecurity to craft strategies to help shape the conduct of statecraft and to better inform and secure users of technology.