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­.s. Needs New National Strategy in Era of Cyberaggression, Paper Concludes

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University of Cincinnatti Professor Richard Harknett

"An offense-defense strategic framework must be adopted to think about and organize against cyber threats in the 21st century," University of Cincinnatti Professor of Political Science Richard Harknett and co-authors argue.

Credit: University of Cincinnati

The United States must take a more offensive stance to protect itself from cyberaggression, according to a new paper by University of Cincinnati researchers Richard Harknett, John Callaghan, and Rudi Kauffman.

The paper,"Leaving Deterrence Behind: War-Fighting and National Cybersecurity," published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, concludes that "the inherent characteristics of cyberspace require adoption of a full war-fighting posture that moves out of the 50-plus year comfort zone of deterrence as the dominant strategic anchor." What is needed is a traditional offense-defense scheme, with the authors arguing that the offense-dominated nature of cyberwarfare does not align well with a deterrence model.

The researchers propose setting up a triple-level "continuum of cyberaggression" to help lead U.S. cyberattack response strategy. The three levels—cybercrime, cyberespionage and reconnaissance, and cyber-leveraged war—are arranged in order of severity, with the highest tier encompassing not just digital attacks, but also those that cause disruption or destruction of physical infrastructure.

From University of Cincinnati
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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