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Cyber-Security: The Vexed Question of Global Rules

NCJ Number
Brigid Grauman
Date Published
February 2012
108 pages
Written in laypersons' terms, this report presents a global overview of current thinking about the cyber-threat and the countermeasures that should be mounted against it.
This report is based on a survey of approximately 250 leading authorities worldwide as well as interviews conducted with 80 cyber-security experts in government, companies, international organizations, and academia in late 2011 and early 2012. Part 1 of this two-part report contains eight sections that address the main issues hindering progress in cyber security. A section on the barriers impeding progress focuses on the lack of consensus on terminology; the appeal of cyber crime as a profitable, low-risk, and anonymous undertaking; and the Internet's tendency to trust its users. Another section tracks the cyber-revolution and its new threats and changing ethics. A third section reviews cyber-defense strategies, associated debates, and conditions for the success of countermeasures. A fourth section outlines features of the quest for rules and regulations to govern cyber-space. The fifth section considers the reasons for divisions among cyber communities and what is needed to overcome barriers between rivals. Three other sections in Part one discuss the pursuit of privacy in the private sector's building and use of the Internet, the costs of insecurity in the cyber domain, and issues of freedom and protection among private citizens using the Internet. Part 2 of the report contains 21 country stress tests, complemented by findings from the global survey conducted by the Security and Defense Agenda (SDA) in the fall of 2011. Ten recommendations are offered for addressing the conditions and practices that make the cyber domain vulnerable to crime and other harms. Indexes and glossaries of companies and organizations involved in cyber security