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Cyber Deterrence: A Comprehensive Approach?

The article addresses the increasingly complex reality of creating and sustaining an effective deterrence strategy while the diversity of threats, actors or aggressors, and motivations are expanding. Over the course of this work, the author asks two important questions, namely “is deterrence against cyber-attacks possible? And, if it is, how can effective cyber deterrence be built and sustained?” Dr. Burton argues we must reform our definition and popular conception of “deterrence” if any strategy is to be successful. He continues, suggesting the scope of the term should widen beyond the “narrow” realm of national and military security to include tailored or customizable responses (including political, social, economic, legal, and technological countermeasures) to cyber threats across all sectors. Dr. Burton uses the Russian subversion of the 2016 U.S. election to emphasize the importance of a more comprehensive cyber-deterrence approach.
Dr. Joe Burton
NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE)
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Internet & Cyberspace
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