Cyber Deterrence Is Working – So Far

By Jason Healey

Jason Healey is a Cipher Brief Cyber Advisor and Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, and Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, specializing in cyber conflict and risk. He started his career as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, before moving to cyber response and policy jobs at the White House and Goldman Sachs. Healey was founding director for cyber issues at the Atlantic Council where he remains a Senior Fellow and is the editor of the first history of conflict in cyberspace, A Fierce Domain: Cyber Conflict, 1986 to 2012. He is on the DEF CON review board and served on the Defense Science Board task force on cyber deterrence.

Beset by disruptive digital attacks, espionage, and cyber-enabled influence campaigns intended to sway public opinion, the United States and its allies are looking for ways to stop the onslaught of computer breaches into their systems. Many nations’ security services are bolstering their offensive military cyber capabilities and response frameworks to deter adversaries from intruding into their networks. The Cipher Brief’s Levi Maxey spoke with Jason Healey, a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University and a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, about what cyber deterrence means, and why it can backfire.

The Cipher Brief: What is cyber deterrence, and does this strategy seem to be working?

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