The New Arms Race in Cyberspace

With worldwide instances of cyber-attacks on the rise, has cyberspace become the next battlefield? Will an escalation of capabilities lead to the threat of a cyber Armageddon? If this is the case, then maybe the nations of the world need to implement some rules for the fighting of wars on this new frontier. Otherwise, the cyber arms race could escalate. With cyber espionage efforts already turning into attempts at cyber sabotage, it is only a matter of time before interactions on the cyber field turn toward more nefarious methods as the new era of cyber weapons are developed, according to an article by

Stuxnet and other cyber weapons have already proved it is possible to attack a nation’s infrastructure through the Internet. With the high level of connectivity in today’s global marketplace, it has become easier to gain access to a company’s computer systems, mainly through malware attached to an e-mail. The ease at which this can be done and the frequency at which employees unknowingly expose their company to attack is alarming. It would seem there is no recourse in this ever-escalating field of war. The day may very well come when accessing the Internet could be like walking across a physical minefield with all of its inherent dangers.

While developing treaties for future interactions in cyberspace might seem like one way to go, how effective can they be? Rules and regulations are only as good as their enforcement methods. The fact remains that learning how to hack a computer system is relatively easy with many resources available to do so. Will such regulation be like the nuclear arms treaties of the Cold War’s past? Or will it just be another failed attempt at controlling an area where those who follow the rules will be at the mercy of those who don’t?

Due to the nature of the World Wide Web, there will never be a way to enforce compliance when it comes to cyber warfare rules and regulations. Unless, somehow, someone figures out a way of controlling who has access and who doesn’t, there isn’t much any organization can do; until then, cyber arms control can only be managed. As such, companies must continue to “manage” their intellectual property and secrets the best way they can.

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