You are here: Home Knowledge Base Polity Identifying and Preventing Future Security Threats Solutions Enhance the exchange of information and technical assistance in information security, tighten international legal cooperation in issuing of arrest warrants and make it a security priority.
Symposium 2011

Solution for Identifying and Preventing Future Security Threats

The Challenge

The last decade has clearly demonstrated that the nature of threats to international security has changed significantly. Structural challenges, such as terrorism, cyber-attacks and nuclear prolifera ...

The last decade has clearly demonstrated that the nature of threats to international security has changed significantly. Structural challenges, such as terrorism, cyber-attacks and nuclear proliferation, have created an entirely new security environment. National states’ monopoly on using force is eroding, state boundaries have lost much of their importance and private actors have become increasingly powerful in international security.

Enhance the exchange of information and technical assistance in information security, tighten international legal cooperation in issuing of arrest warrants and make it a security priority.

Defense against cyberattacks can come in two main forms: system redundancy and cyberdeterrence. System redundancy requires many systems and routes protected by advanced firewalls to ensure that an attack only disrupts part of the national cyberinfrastructure. It is a costly investment, which—since most vital cyberinfrastructure is not state-owned, but in private hands—must lead private corporations to devote larger parts of their budgets to addressing the common good of security.

Cyberdeterrence threatens attackers with effective counterattack. But given the use of false addresses and even sophisticated botnet command and control attacks, it may be very difficult to determine the origin of an attack. If it can be known, the character of the threatened retaliation is not clearly defined. Since 2006, US military strategy has defined a cyberattack as potentially a casus belli equivalent to a traditional act of war. This raises the possibility of the damage mutually inflicted nearing that of a nuclear Armageddon.

Both cybersecurity measures rely on early detection, communication and international cooperation that engages the private sector as well as states. Ideally, states should develop an international code of practice and one or more treaties that they agree to abide by and implement in their own territories.

Moreover, the price of state-sponsored attacks must be increased. The inclusion of cyberwarfare into the Geneva Convention could be a reasonable starting point.

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