The White House published the National Cyber Strategy of the United States of America, the first national cybersecurity strategy in fifteen years. According to the Strategy, the American people, homeland and way of life will be protected by protecting networks, information and critical infrastructure, by combating cybercrime and improving incident responding. American prosperity will be promoted by fostering a vibrant digital economy as well as domestic ingenuity, and developing a superior cybersecurity workforce. Peace will be preserved through strength, by enhancing cyber stability through norms of responsible state behavior and attributing and detecting unacceptable behavior in cyberspace. In that vein, the United States will launch an international Cyber Deterrence Initiative where a coalition of like-minded states will coordinate and support each other’s responses to significant malicious cyber incidents, including through intelligence sharing, buttressing of attribution claims, public statements of support for responsive actions taken, and joint imposition of consequences against malign actors. Lastly, American influence will be expanded by promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet, and by building international cyber capacity.
Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss.
Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.
Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.
Cyber-attacks can have a background in international relations, or bring about the consequences that can escalate to a political and diplomatic level. An increasing number of states appear to be developing their own cyber-tools for the defense, offence and intelligence related to cyberconflict.
The use of cyber-weapons by states - and, more generally, the behavior of states in cyberspace in relation to maintaining international peace and security - is moving to the top of the international agenda.