The real problem with cyber warfare: appropriate response to attacks

Drone Strike

Cyber warfare is a relatively new concern for the world, and it wasn’t until recently that many Americans began to question whether our government is prepared for some of the worst scenarios imaginable.

Russia was the first to synchronize cyber attacks back in 2008 with its invasion of Georgia. Finally, in 2009 America decided to establish a Cyber Command and only now have other countries followed. The problem with cyber security is that the threat is not usually well understood and many times the origin cannot be determined. Additionally, the affects of cyber attacks are in many cases not immediately known. But, as we’ve seen in the Russian invasion of Georgia, it is highly effective.

Cyber terrorism is very obscure, and one of the reasons it is so difficult to combat is not knowing how to respond if and when you find out who is responsible. For instance, if a country decides to wage cyber warfare against another, the result of which creates calamity within the targeted country, would any degree of military intervention be justified? In other words, if that calamity is limited to system failures rather than human casualty, then what would be a justifiable response?

Currently there is no systematic response to cyber threats because cyber security has many limitations. Martin Dempsey correctly stated that it is “one of the most serious threats to national security.” Yet, the seriousness of the threat is not what needs to be recognized. It’s the lack of knowing how to respond and who should held accountable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *