Military operations in cyberspace are an emerging facet of warfare. Operations such as network defense, intelligence-gathering, morale operations and cyber attacks are all aspects of tomorrow's electronic battle space. Cyber-attacks can be delivered via infiltrating supply chains, by exploiting human behavior (perhaps the area of greatest risk and least understanding), and via malicious software (“cyberweapons”).
“High-impact,” sophisticated cyber-weapons have yet to deliver strategic effect. But increasingly widespread technical knowledge and the unhampered distribution of cyber-technology are resulting in an untrammeled proliferation of “low-impact” cyber weapons. The rapid development and dissemination of these weapons threatens to far outstrip international efforts to secure cyberspace as a domain for all.
These low-impact cyber-weapons are all too often used in the knowledge that the risks of doing so are minimal. There is a real risk that unrestricted offensive cyber-operations will poison and corrode wider international relations. All too often those who deploy these weapons do not fully understand them or the collateral damage they can cause.
There is an absolute need for better cyber-defenses, with far greater emphasis on an holistic approach than was found in traditional paradigms of security.