Developing Cyber Buffer Zones

Developing Cyber Buffer Zones

Michael Robinson (Airbus, UK), Kevin Jones (Airbus, UK), Helge Janicke (De Montfort University, UK) and Leandros Maglaras (De Montfort University, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch019
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Cyber peacekeeping is a new and novel field of research that focuses on the ways that nations and society can restore peace and security in the aftermath of cyber warfare. In this article, the authors make an original contribution to the field by developing the concept of cyber buffer zones. They aim to answer two specific questions: Can the concept of a buffer zone be translated into a cyber context, and if so, would a cyber buffer zone be feasible to perform and provide some kind of peace promoting effect? The authors find that the concept can be translated well and propose a practical approach towards creating a cyber buffer zone that is both feasible and valuable to perform.
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The concept of cyber peacekeeping can be traced back to an article by Cahill, Rozinov and Mule (2003). They noted that cyber warfare would likely havedevastating effects well beyond the boundaries of thecombatants and that some kind of peacekeeping capability in cyberspace would be needed (Cahill, Rozinov, & Mule, 2003). Some potential cyber peacekeeping activities were proposed, such as cyber border management and monitoring/verification and their overall approach was to explore how existing peacekeeping doctrine could be mapped to cyber warfare. The topic did not receive any further attention for ten years untilKleffner and Dinniss(2013) reigniteddiscussion. They drew attention to the convergence of two significant global trends: an increase in conflicts which involve a cyber component and the increasing deployment of complex peace operations. They noted that these trends made it natural to assume that peacekeepers will find themselves asked to keep the peace in environments where the peace is threatened by cyber incidents (Kleffner & Dinniss, 2013).

Akatyev and James (2015) contributed by proposing a cyber peacekeeping model, including a set of goals and proposals of activities to perform during three stages: no conflict, conflict and post-conflict.In the no conflict stage, cyber peacekeepers work to unite efforts to keep the peace and prevent the outbreak of cyber conflict. In the conflict stage efforts are directed to orchestrating an international response and containing the harmful effects (e.g. through preventing the spread of malware or cyber weapons). Finally in the post-conflict stage, they propose that cyber peacekeepers are tasked with preventing further destruction and recovering critical infrastructure back to operation. In this regard, the model covers all three phases of warfare with the primary goal of protecting civilians.

The need for cyber peacekeeping was reinforced two years later by Dorn (2017), who states that cyberpeackeeperscould patrol and act in cyberspace just as current UN peacekeepers patrol and act in the world’s conflict zones.Faced with a huge disaster bill and a potential for vast escalation in attacks, an investment in cyberpeacekeeping would seem like a bargain (Dorn, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

UN: United Nations.

CNI: Critical national infrastructure.

DDR: Disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration.

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