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September 2011 – “Cyber Statecraft: Addressing Strategic Cyber Instability”
August 22, 2011 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
This conference addressed the issue of how strategic instability will be an inherent factor in cyber conflict for the foreseeable future, according to preliminary findings of a research effort by the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA). The conference gave a preview of research being done by CCSA on the causes of this instability, along with the impacts and approaches nations can take to address it. The event was co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations, and CCSA.
The findings, released the Addressing Cyber Instability Executive Summary, go on to note how some of the causes and concerns for instability in cyberspace have been recognized for years. These include the advantage of offense over defense, low barriers to entry, vulnerability of critical infrastructure, possibility for cascading effects, difficulty of attribution, lack of norms, and the relative ease of crossing international borders over intercontinental ranges. Despite this, when these factors are combined, policymakers and researchers have not come to fully appreciate how cyber conflict is far more unstable than conflict in other domains.