Are we Ready for Future Cyber Wars?

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Do cyber wars pose threats to national or global security? What is the impact of the privatization of intelligence in cyber sector? How can cyber wars ruin people’s daily lives? Is it really possible to attribute cybercrimes to their rightful perpetrators? Will information warfare be bloodless or do virtual acts have the potential to shed real blood?...

Do cyber wars pose threats to national or global security? What is the impact of the privatization of intelligence in cyber sector? How can cyber wars ruin people’s daily lives? Is it really possible to attribute cybercrimes to their rightful perpetrators? Will information warfare be bloodless or do virtual acts have the potential to shed real blood? Do state or non-state actors have the upper hand? When and how should states respond to cyberattacks? Are active or passive defense position the best option? Does any international legal framework yet exist to define when cyber-counter attacks are permitted or justified? There is a long list of questions to answer in order to understand the future cyber environment which contains many unknowns and complex security challenges. Despite recognizing the cyber environment as a “grey area“, many countries and institutions have already started to search for ways to strengthen their cyber capabilities in order to deter adversaries in cyberspace or through cyberspace.

From this perspective, the current and future cyber ecosystem needs to be discussed under two main headings: “technical/technological“ and “legal and institutional“ dimension. Yet each of these headings reveal the ‘awareness’ and ‘readiness’ levels of the countries.


Technical and Technological Dimension

The cyber environment is a global space where any type of information system (e.g., computers and telephones) and their communication channelsmeet together in order to process, send, and store data. Thus, the cyber environment contains “human“, “technology“, “virtual“, and “physical“ components. Today, the sphere where “society“ and “technology“ intersect has emerged as a “cyber life zone,“ and implies not only the dimension and impact of the threat, but also points out the difficulty of taking real-time preventive and actionable precautions in terms of chain reactions and increasing speed.

Currently there are more than 4.208 billion internet users in the world.2 Meanwhile the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing faster than anyone expected; from 2 billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020 (which amounts to around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth). The world is getting much smarter; business/manufacturing, healthcare, retail, security and transportation are all using billions of smart devices. By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology is estimated to be as much as USD 6.2 trillion, most of which is from devices used in healthcare and manufacturing.3

At the same time, people are becoming increasingly dependent on smart technology and interconnected networks beyond mobile phones: we live and work in smart homes and offices. Despite the rapid proliferation of smart devices, people remain largely unaware of the risks that might occur in their connectable home devices. TV’s, cameras, thermostats, heaters and air conditioners, bike locks and trackers, door locks, energy and lighting systems, or alarms may all serve as vulnerable hubs for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your IoT ecosystem at home.

The cyber landscape contains both advantages and disadvantages. In this respect, autonomous and robotic technologies which employ artificial intelligence reflect the discourse on cybersecurity. For example, autonomous vehicles which are still being developed by various companies such as Tesla, Uber, Waymo, LeTV, Great Wall Motors, Baidu, and Uisee Technology will be capable of performing driving tasks without humans or with limited human assistance.4 Tesla added radar to all its vehicles in October 2014 as part ofits autopilot hardware suite and is still working on enhancing the capabilities (e.g., location accuracy) of its fully self-driving suite.5 As stated in the latest research by Counterpoint’s IoT tracking service, the global market for connected cars is expected to grow by 270 percent by 2022 with more than 125 million connected passenger cars with embedded connectivity to be shipped during 2018-2022.6

Merve SEREN, From the book "Security of the Future"

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Africa 66 136
Asia 75 211
Europe 13 29
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
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