Cyber security - a global view

15 Nov 2011

Protecting the Internet from attacks by governments, hackers, criminals and political activists?

Cyber security is a global economic and national security threat. Is it a phenomenon that we as a society can manage, or must we learn to live with a certain level of insecurity? What can actually be done to secure cyberspace and the critical infrastructure on which we all depend?

The US and China are key players in this domain. Both are engaged in cyber espionage and both must protect themselves from the threats that it poses. But the US and the Chinese, like the Russians and other countries, use the term “information security,” which includes content. The Chinese are not only concerned about attacks on networks, but the information carried on them which could affect national security if used for political reasons both inside and outside of China. This conflicts with the view in much of the developed world that the Internet should be free and open for all.

Cyber espionage is not only conducted by countries eager to gain a political, military or commercial advantage over one another, but also by individuals and business just out for the money. Cyber fraud and crime are lucrative.

The Risk Talk on cyber security on 20 September 2011 explored these issues. Expert input was provided by Myriam Dunn Cavelty, Head of the New Risk Research Unit at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), and Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

To watch their speeches, please click on the modules to the right.