Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Cyberspace and the National Security of the United Kingdom: Threats and Responses

Paul Cornish, Rex Hughes, David Livingstone

March 2009

Chatham House


This report provides a general overview of the problem of cybersecurity. The aim of the report is to inform debate and to make the case for a more coherent, comprehensive and anticipatory policy response, both nationally and internationally. In every area, society is becoming increasingly dependent upon information and communications technology (ICT). With dependency come exposure and vulnerability to misuse, criminality and even attack. Criminals and extremists are able to take advantage of the same 'global technological commons' upon which society is becoming so dependent. Cybersecurity has become a fast-moving and complex security challenge, one which requires a coordinated, agile and mutually reinforcing response from all those who benefit from the global ICT infrastructure. This report forms the first part of a major project on cybersecurity undertaken by Chatham House in conjunction with Detica Ltd. The project aims to engage government, private-sector, academic and other specialists in high-level analysis of cybersecurity challenges and responses.