Grahic art displaying digital encrypted lock with data multilayers.

Public and private sectors can secure cyberspace together.

Strength in Unity

April 2011, Number 02.02

“A defining element of national cyber security is the importance of nongovernmental actors. For more than a decade, many governments have maintained Critical Infrastructure Protection, or CIP programs to encourage cooperation between government and certain key private sector companies, especially on cybersecurity. Results have been mixed, and there is a growing understanding that the wide-ranging involvement of nongovernmental actors is only possible within a “Whole of Nation,” or WoN approach — a method of cross-organizational collaboration.

Within national cybersecurity, the importance of the private sector and civil society is obvious. The private sector is responsible for virtually all of the software and hardware that is exploited for cyber attacks, maintains most of the network infrastructure over which these attacks are conducted, and often owns the critical infrastructure against which these attacks are directed. Further, civil society actors — as distinct from the private sector — dominate cyberspace, defining the programmed parameters (i.e. the software protocols) of the cyber domain, as well as executing, researching and ultimately publicly speculating on cyber attacks. Together, these nongovernment actors account for the bulk of what is termed “national” cybersecurity. They are only partially accounted for in most national CIP programs...”

Excerpt from Alexander Klimburg, “Strength in Unity,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 2, 2011: 28-33.

Alexander Klimburg is a fellow at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs. Since 2006, Mr. Klimburg has undertaken government national security projects for the Austrian Federal Chancellery, the Ministry of Defense and the National Security Council. He has consulted with various national governments and governmental institutions, and is the principal author of a forthcoming European Parliament study on cyber warfare. Within cyber security, his work has primarily been in the area of information security, critical information infrastructure protection, and the integration of cyber warfare, cyber terrorism and cyber crime. He is the author of advisory papers as well as a contributor to the book Inside Cyber Warfare. He holds degrees from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.