On Levels of Deterrence in the Cyber Domain

Abstract:

Deterrence is a coercive strategy to avoid escalation to direct conflicts. In the Cold War, nuclear deterrence was successfully used to prevent a war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In the cyber domain, which is man-made and virtual, how deterrence can be effectively applied is one of today’s biggest challenges. To address this challenge, this article first identifies and categorises different types of operations in the cyber domain based on their impact. It then proposes a new model of deterrence implementation that incorporates cyber deterrence into traditional deterrence. This novel approach not only makes it possible to effectively apply varied types of deterrence measures based on corresponding contexts in varied domains, but it also makes possible the use of cyber means for retaliation in non-cyber domains of warfare, thus enriching deterrence theories as a whole.


AUTHORS

Photo of Dr. Jim Q. Chen

National Defense University Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., U.S.
United States

Dr.Jim Q. Chen is a Professor of Cyber Studies in the College of Information and Cyberspace at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., U.S. His expertise is in cyber warfare,cyber deterrence,cyber strategy, cyber-security technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He has published widely on these topics.

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