Changing the Approach to Deterrence in Cyberspace while Protecting Civilians from Cyber Conflict

Changing the Approach to Deterrence in Cyberspace while Protecting Civilians from Cyber Conflict

Metodi Hadji-Janev (Military Academy “General Mihailo Apostolski”, Macedonia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8793-6.ch013


Many incidents in cyberspace and the response to those incidents by victim states prove that the cyber conflict is a reality. This new conflict is complex and poses serious challenges to national and international security. One way to protect the civilian populace is by deterring potential malicious actors (state and non-state) from exploiting cyberspace in a negative way. Given the changed reality and complexity that gravitates over the cyber conflict classical deterrence that have worked during the Cold War is not promising. The article argues that if the states are about to protect their civilians from the future cyber conflict by deterring potential attacker they need to change the approach to deterrence.
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1. Cyber Conflict Is Real And Complex

The end of the Cold War has marked a new era in international security. The processes of intensified globalization and the technological development as a result to this tectonic shift have positive and some negative effects. Those who champion globalization and technological developments emphasise the efficiencies and opportunities in the business environment, improved technology of transportation and telecommunications, improvement in movement of people and capital, diffusion of knowledge, emphasised human dimension of the security, etc. On the other hand critics of globalization and technological development focus on the “deregulation of commodity” and the balance that has evaporated with the end of the Cold War (Fotopulos, July 2001). These processes according to some views have destroyed the “walls” and have “flattened” the world for good and for bad (Friedman, 2005, Ch-1).

The new flattened environment has ignited the process of power redistribution. As a result, states have significantly lost the monopoly of power. In this new, fundamentally transformed security environment, some actors have seized the opportunity and have started to acquire unconventional means to achieve strategic ends. Recent practice shows that competitors in the current security realm are ready to employ all forms of war simultaneously. Utilizing tactics to use modern technology (primarily designed to bring commodity and wealth) state and non-state actors multiply their power and create multidimensional threats.

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