Policy and strategy
Like in any other European state, cybersecurity has grown in importance in Swiss politics. And although Switzerland’s cybersecurity and defense policies are still a work in progress, the nation has made tremendous efforts in getting cybersecurity policies, roles, and responsibilities right.
Michael Warner, the Cyber Command Historian at the U.S. Department of Defense, outlined the main theoretical insights for American policy-makers and officials: Computers can spill sensitive data and must be guarded (1960s); Computers can be attacked and data stolen (1970s); We can build computer attacks into military arsenals (1980s and 1990s); Others might do that to us – and perhaps already are (1990s). But new opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities make this a challenging field.
In 2015 through the UK National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence Review, the Government recognised the growing threat to our national stability, security and prosperity from activities occurring in, and from, cyberspace.
Policy Highlights: Austria’s National Military Cyber Defense Policy Within a Whole-of-Government Context
The “Austrian Security Strategy: Security for a New Decade – Shaping Security,” adopted by the Austrian National Council in 2013 (ÖSS 2013) was followed in the same year by the “Austrian Cyber Security Strategy” (ÖSCS 2013), which was produced in accordance with the ÖSS. Both documents were developed at the national level.
In Germany, the provision of cybersecurity—i.e. a condition where risks from cyberspace have been reduced to an acceptable minimum—is a whole-of-government task. This is laid down in the 2016 White Paper, the current basic document on German security policy. There are few areas where internal and external security are as closely intertwined as they are in cyberspace. This includes the joint protection of critical infrastructure.
Speaking about deterrence in the 21st century feels like excavating remnants of a bygone era. With the advent of nuclear technologies and mainly during the Cold war, deterrence was a topic not only for politicians and academia but also shaped the daily lives of millions, no matter which side of the ‘blocks’ they belonged to. Since then, deterrence diminished its presence in the public perception together with the nuclear arsenals of the great powers.