Use With Caution: The Value and Limits of Deterrence Against Asymmetric Threats

Categories: Blog, Policy

MIIS’s own Professor Jeffrey Knopf has published an analysis of the possibilities of deterrence theory against the primary security threats of the age, namely; terrorism, WMD use by “Rogue States”, and cyber attacks. He comes down against the application of deterrence theory to cyber attacks and especially against the bombastic statements of some in the defense community of a national policy of responding to catastrophic cyber attack by employing the “Nuclear Triad”. The central problem of attribution of attacks also comes to the fore, and even after attribution has been made more or less conclusively, the problem still remains of demonstrating actual state knowledge and complicity in any given attack. Deterrence by denial, however, remains viable in the cyber context, and hardening infrastructure may go a long way towards discouraging high-impact hacking attacks.


Dan Gifford – MCySec Media Manager


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