CHAPTER 6Measuring the Cyber Threat


6.1.1 A Man-Made Threats

Society is exposed to all manner of threats. These may affect the safety of citizens and their well-being, freedom, and livelihoods. Threats may emerge from land, sea, air, space – and cyberspace. The cyber threat involves an attack in cyberspace that recognizes no geographical boundary, nor any political jurisdiction. Mediated by information technology, a cyber attack ultimately is instigated and perpetrated by a human aggressor. Managing an adversarial threat is different from managing an environmental hazard in that there is an intrinsic pervasive behavioral component. This requires the knowledge and skills developed from experience in human conflict situations.

In a conventional war, the government makes military and strategic decisions collectively on behalf of its citizens, taking appropriate action to deal with any threat. Those serving in uniform take up arms to protect the population at home and overseas. Civilians can carry on with their daily lives without having to worry each moment about hostile forces turning up at their door. Now, without any formal declaration of conflict, we, as citizens, are all embroiled in a perpetual guerrilla cyber war on a global scale. A totalitarian state like North Korea can launch cyber attacks anywhere and at any time with little deterrence. By contrast, a physical attack by North Korea using conventional military means against a foreign ...

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