• Industry: Government & Public Sector
  • Date: 11/5/2013

Case study: Cyber security 

The digitization of so many aspects of people’s lives and businesses presents an enormous opportunity for improved efficiency and productivity, but it also presents a significant new type of risk in the form of cyber security challenges.

Governments will face pressure to protect their citizens, their own operations, and the security of their nations from threats not seen before. The European Union Institute for Security Studies predicts that "over the next two decades, the cyber sphere is likely to become an arena of conflict and tension between states of all political stripes, not least among those for which cyber security is a key component of intelligence and military strategy, and also between individuals or private companies."1 This trend also exposes critical infrastructure to threats from both enemy states and non-state actors in a new manner.2 Cyber actions can infiltrate nuclear plants or disrupt financial systems.3 As the security dimensions of global internet connectivity become increasingly salient, the traditional neutrality and stakeholder governance model of internet governance will need to change.4

Implications and responses:

  • As threats easily transcend national borders, emerging cyber security threats call for international cooperation and information sharing, especially during a crisis.5
  • Most countries that have established cyber security as a priority have created some form of coordinating body to manage responses, though the departmental responsibility varies.6

1European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2011.

2National Intelligence Council. 2012. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (PDF 20.50 MB).

3Siobhan Gorman and Siobhan Hughes. 13 March 2013. "US Steps up Alarm over Cyberattacks". The Wall Street Journal. Accessed 2 May 2013.

4James Andrew Lewis. “What’s next in Cyber Security?” in Critical Questions for 2013: Global Challenges. Center for Strategic and International Studies. ed. Gerald Hyman. Accessed 22 April 2013.

5World Economic Forum. 2013. “Resilience Practices: One-Year Follow-Up Analysis Of Global Risks 2012 Cases”. Accessed 22 April 2013.

6Neil Robinson, Luke Gribbon, Veronika Horvath and Kate Robertson. 2013. “Cyber-Security Threat Characterisation: A Rapid Comparative Analysis” (PDF 753 KB). Rand Europe. Accessed 22 April 2013.


Share this

Share this

Download Future State 2030

Full report