Cyber Deterrence – Methods & Effectiveness

The term “Cyber Deterrence” is gaining traction lately, with regard to the act of deterring cyber attacks. I’ve seen at least one author (Richard Clarke) use it in his book about Cyber Warfare. In many cases the proponents of this term invoke existing Deterrence Strategies such as the MAD doctrine that was used to prevent Nuclear weapons during the Cold War, and use it as a model on Cyber Warfare.

As part of a Cyber Warfare course I am following, I was asked to write a research paper about Cyber Deterrence. In it, I was to research and analyze the proliferation of cyber capabilities and discuss cyber deterrence and their likelihood of success. I was to specifically address traditional methods of deterrence including trade sanctions, import and export restrictions and other economic sanctions. After I started seriously working on this paper, I realized that all the sanctions in the world weren’t going to apply to cyber warfare; a capable attacker would never give you a target to retalliate.

I changed direction and, because I didn’t want my paper to become a carbon-copy of Martin Libicki’s “Cyber Deterrence and Cyberwar” (RAND Corporation), I took a different approach that breaks Deterrence Theory in three parts. The assignment was very clear in the amount of data it was to contain, so it’s fairly brief, but it covers the salient points well enough that I decided to upload the resultant work here on Argent

Please find the Research Paper here: Cyber Deterrence – Methods and Effectiveness

UPDATE: Modified the paper at the request of the reviewer. Above link has been changed on Jan 13, 2011 at 11.00AM.