Subversion over Offense: Why the Practice of Cyber Conflict looks nothing like its Theory and what this means for Strategy and Scholarship

Cyber attacks are both exciting and terrifying, but the ongoing obsession with ‘cyber warfare’ clouds analysis and hampers strategy development. Much commentary and analysis of cyber conflict continues to use the language of war, where actors use ‘offensive cyber operations’ to meet adversaries in ‘engagements’ striving for victory on the ‘battlefield’ in the ‘cyber domain’.Continue reading “Subversion over Offense: Why the Practice of Cyber Conflict looks nothing like its Theory and what this means for Strategy and Scholarship”

Does the Cyber Offense Have the Advantage?

There is a simple conjecture that is quite common in all aspects of society: “the best defense is a good offense.” This idea persists and leads to the belief that action can trump protection in cyber security because of its simplicity and the general failure to evaluate claims with evidence. The complexity of computers canContinue reading “Does the Cyber Offense Have the Advantage?”

Active Cyber Defense: panacea or snake oil?

by Dr. Sven Herpig and Max Heinemeyer Active Cyber Defense is coming to the European Union. The EU is currently working on an update of its Network and Information Security Directive (NIS Directive) which, inter alia, includes a provision on active cyber defense. In other places, such as the United States, the United Kingdom andContinue reading “Active Cyber Defense: panacea or snake oil?”

Making the Concept of Violence Central to the Study of Offensive Cyber Operations

Dr Florian J Egloff, Dr James Shires Cyberspace is everywhere. It is so prevalent that the concept has started to lose its functional utility – and, as the recent Facebook rebrand demonstrates, big tech companies still want to make cyber interactions even more seamless and attractive. For the majority of the world’s population with accessContinue reading “Making the Concept of Violence Central to the Study of Offensive Cyber Operations”

To the Frontline and Beyond: How Ransomware’s Operational Details Can Inform Policy and Strategy

Dr Jamie Collier Mentioned just once in the UK Government’s Integrated Review, recent events highlight that ransomware is undoubtedly a crucial matter of national security. As Ciaran Martin has already discussed in The Alert, ransomware has recently disrupted oil and meat supplies, education infrastructure, and healthcare operations during a global pandemic. Offensive cyber might beContinue reading “To the Frontline and Beyond: How Ransomware’s Operational Details Can Inform Policy and Strategy”