German and Norwegian Perspectives on Euro-Atlantic Security
Chapter 4: Cyber: Buzzword or Game Changer? How the Digital Space Affects National and International Security
← 84 | 85 →Chapter 4
Cyber: Buzzword or Game Changer?How the Digital Space Affects National and International Security
Kristin Hemmer Mørkestøl1
Societies become ever more dependent on information and communication technology (ICT). The more we depend on ICT for critical functions in society the more vulnerable we are to the potential threats in cyberspace. In 2010, computer tools developed and used by unidentified actors caused physical damage to critical Iranian infrastructure, including a uranium enrichment facility.2 During the war between Georgia and Russia in 2008, the Georgian government official websites were seriously disrupted, forcing the government to establish alternative websites on Google’s blog-hosting service.3 Countries and international organisations increasingly include cyber in large exercises like “Cyber Atlantic”, “Cyber Europe” and NATO’s “Cyber Coalition”.4 These exercises focus on how governments and organisations can better prepare for dealing with emerging security challenges in cyberspace. As these examples show, threats in cyberspace are real, and governments are starting to treat them as such. This chapter explores the impact cyberspace has had so far on national and international security, by focusing on ← 85 | 86 → the following questions: Howdo cyber attacks threaten national and international security? Has the spectre of cyber attacks changed national and international security strategies and the way Western countries organise their security?
The chapter is divided into three main parts. First, I explore the “high end” of threats and trends in cyberspace. Second, I analyse how the threats are met, nationally and internationally, and indicate key...
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