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Toward an Ambidextrous Framework for Offensive Cyberspace Operations: a Theory, Policy and Practice Perspective
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7552-9465
Eisenhower Defence Fellow, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy; European Union Research Center, George Washington School of Business, Washington D.C., USA; Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Payne, Brian K.; Wu, Hongyi, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 243-253Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article addresses the rise in state-sponsored cyber attacks over the past three decades and proposes a new ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations. Since 1982, nation states have embarked in a fierce race to develop both clandestine and covert offensive cyber capabilities. Their intended targets range from foreign militaries and terrorist organizations to civilian populations and the critical infrastructures that they rely upon. Advancements in cyber security have, however, contributed to the discovery and attribution of offensive cyber operations, such as state-sponsored ransomware attacks, where state-built cyber capabilities have been used to attack governments, industries, academia and citizens of adversary nations. The financial and psychological costs of these ransomware attacks are today a threat to any state’s national security. This article draws from academic research, the cyber military doctrines of four countries—a total of eight models from the Netherlands, Sweden, the U.S., and the U.K.—and the authors’ operational experience to propose a new ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations. This ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations and the associated Cyberspace Operations Canvas are needed today in order to increase the resilience of national critical infrastructures against attacks from state-developed tools. We use the WannaCry-case to illustrate how the implementation of the ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations would result in increased awareness and understanding of the prospective cyber threats, their intended target(s), the likelihood of cascading effects and the options available by nation states to minimize them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020. p. 243-253
Series
The proceedings of the international conference on information warfare and security, ISSN 2048-9870, E-ISSN 2048-9889
Keywords [en]
Ambidextrous Framework for Offensive Cyberspace Operations, critical infrastructure protection, Cyberspace Operations Canvas, cyber resilience, state-sponsored cyber-attacks, WannaCry
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Information Systems Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Systems science for defence and security
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9097DOI: 10.34190/ICCWS.20.052ISBN: 9781912764525 (print)ISBN: 9781912764532 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-9097DiVA, id: diva2:1415409
Conference
15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ICCWS), 12-13 March, 2020, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Available from: 2020-03-18 Created: 2020-03-18 Last updated: 2020-04-03Bibliographically approved

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