Deterrence in Cyberspace   [open pdf - 579KB]

From the thesis abstract: "There are significant differences between nuclear attack and cyber attack, but the development of cyber deterrence policy is relevant to the total defense of the United States' critical infrastructure and networked cyber systems. The rapidity, ambiguity of origination, and inexpensiveness of a cyber attack creates a problem that is not easily addressed by the strategies used in the implementation of nuclear deterrence. Similar to the nuclear deterrence policy developed during the Cold War, a policy for deterrence to compliment the United States' defense of its interests in cyberspace is needed today. Influencing the mental calculus of a potential adversary is a critical aspect of defending the nation's interests in cyberspace. Having the capabilities to effectively respond to enemy aggression in cyberspace is critical to deterrence as a strategy to defend the nation's critical infrastructure. The cyber attacks conducted against Georgia and Estonia during their conflicts with Russia demonstrate the ability for widespread effects at very little cost. While the private sector must do more to ensure that critical infrastructure is adequately protected, the government similarly needs to develop better policies to deter cyber attacks. The aspects of nuclear deterrence considered relevant to cyber deterrence in this paper are attribution, penalty, credibility, definition of attack, dependency, counter-productivity, awareness, and futility."

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