Cyber diplomacy: Confidence-building measures

28-10-2015

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace. Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global 'cyber stability regime' may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks. The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace. Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global 'cyber stability regime' may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks. The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.