chapter  1
21 Pages

From cyber resilience to civil defence

Contested concepts, elusive goals
ByGreg Austin, Munish Sharma

The chapter introduces the concept of cyber civil defence at the national level. The authors argue that events in the middle of this decade, especially in 2015 and 2016, have pushed the idea into greater prominence. In the process, they argue, leaders of government and industry in several countries came to understand that an earlier focus on building resilience largely through technocratic, government-led responses to earlier forms of cyber attack would be inadequate to address the emerging intent and capabilities for cyberspace conflict. The concept of future need came to be oriented around defence against multi-vector, multi-wave, multi-theatre attacks in cyberspace where political information warfare would play a bigger role. There was a new recognition that plans to mobilise community groups and citizens for that level of threat—only foreseen previously for periods of political crisis or war—would be needed to stimulate the still lagging efforts at resilience preparedness for other, less dire circumstances. The chapter canvasses the idea that the international cooperative dimensions of civil defence in cyberspace may in fact be central to national perspectives.