Security in a Power Diffuse Space?

A CYBER CASE STUDY

Public Diplomacy Magazine - In recent years, cybersecurity has launched to the top of the political agenda and prompted strategic thinkers within governments, think tanks, and academia around the world to pay close attention. A common response has been to explore the application of lessons learned from previous emergent technologies. But power in cyberspace is incredibly complex: it is at once diffuse yet concentrated, opaque yet transparent. The anonymity of cyberspace lends more actors more agency with covert cover until the moment the power is unveiled to the world, at which point it becomes open and accessible to all. Yet, the most powerful capability, like the Stuxnet virus that delayed the Iranian uranium enrichment program, rests in the hands of a few, mostly state, actors. So how can power projection improve security in this emergent space? Perhaps the key to cybersecurity rests in convincing the actors with capabilities to disrupt and destroy to not use them.

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Robert Morgus is a senior policy analyst with New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative and International Security program and the deputy director of the FIU-New America C2B Partnership.