The Cyberspace Threats and Cyber Security Objectives in the Cyber Security Strategies

The Cyberspace Threats and Cyber Security Objectives in the Cyber Security Strategies

Martti Lehto
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijcwt.2013070101
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Threats in cyberspace can be classified in many ways. This is evident when you look at cyber security on a multinational level. One of the most common models is a threefold classification based on motivational factors. Most nations use this model as a foundation when creating a strategy to handle cyber security threats as it pertains to them. This paper will use the five level model: cyber activism, cybercrime, cyber espionage, cyber terrorism and cyber warfare. The National Cyber Security Strategy defines articulates the overall aim and objectives of the nation's cyber security policy and sets out the strategic priorities that the national government will pursue to achieve these objectives. The Cyber Security Strategy also describes the key objectives that will be undertaken through a comprehensive body of work across the nation to achieve these strategic priorities. Cyberspace underpins almost every facet of the national functions vital to society and provides critical support for areas like critical infrastructure, economy, public safety, and national security. National governments aim at making a substantial contribution to secure cyberspace and they have different focus areas in the cyber ecosystem. In this context the level of cyber security reached is the sum of all national and international measures taken to protect all activities in the cyber ecosystem. This paper will analyze the cyber security threats, vulnerabilities and cyber weaponry and the cyber security objectives of the Cyber Security Strategies made by Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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1. What Does ‘Cyber’ Mean?

The word cyber is generally believed to originate from the Greek verb κυβερεω (kybereo) to steer, to guide, to control. At the end of the 1940s, Norbert Wiener (1894–1964), an American mathematician, began to use the word cybernetics to describe computerised control systems. According to Wiener, cybernetics deals with sciences that address the control of machines and living organisms through communication and feedback. Pursuant to the cybernetic paradigm, information sharing and manipulation are used in controlling biological, physical and chemical systems. Cybernetics only applies to machine-like systems in which the functioning of the system and the end result can be mathematically modelled and determined, or at least predicted. The cybernetic system is a closed system, exchanging neither energy nor matter with its environment. (Porter, 1969, Ståhle, 2004)

The prefix cyber is often seen in conjunction with computers and robots. William Gibson, a science-fiction novelist, coined the term cyberspace in his novel Neuromancer (Gibson 1984). Science-fiction literature and movies portray the Gibsonian cyberspace, or matrix, as a global, computerised information network in which the data are coded in a three-dimensional, multi-coloured form. Users enter cyberspace via a computer interface, where after they can ‘fly’ through cyberspace as avatars or explore urban areas by entering the buildings depicted by the data.

Cyber, as a concept, can be perceived through the following conceptual model (Kuusisto, 2012):

  • Cyber world: The presence of human post-modern existence on earth;

  • Cyberspace: A dynamic artefactual state formed by bits (vs. static);

  • Cyber domain: A precisely delineated domain controlled by somebody; and

  • Cyber culture: The entirety of the mental and physical cyberspace-related achievements of a community or of all of humankind.

Many countries are defining what they mean by cyber world or cyber security in their national strategy documents. The common theme from all of these varying definitions, however, is that cyber security is fundamental to both protecting government secrets and enabling national defense, in addition to protecting the critical infrastructures that permeate and drive the 21st century global economy.

The Australian cyber security strategy defines cyberspace on the foundation of Australia’s digital economy and the importance and benefits of ICT to the entire national economy. In accordance with the strategy “Australia’s national security, economic prosperity and social wellbeing are critically dependent upon the availability, integrity and confidentiality of a range of information and communications technologies (ICT). This includes desktop computers, the Internet, mobile communications devices and other computer systems and networks.” In short, it is all about the world of networks and terminals.

The Canadian cyber security strategy starts out with the definition of cyberspace: “Cyberspace is the electronic world created by interconnected networks of information technology and the information on those networks. It is a global commons where more than 1.7 billion people are linked together to exchange ideas, services and friendship.” Cyberspace is not only limited to physical networks; rather, it is a world consisting of the exchange of information, communication and different services.

The cyber security strategy of the Czech Republic does not explicitly define cyberspace. It states that “The strategy focuses mainly on unimpeded access to services, data integrity and confidentiality of the Czech Republic’s cyberspace and is coordinated with other related strategies and concepts.” This definition complies with the traditional data security definition which focuses on the availability, integrity and confidentiality of information.

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