Table of Contents

Handbook of Governance and Security

Handbook of Governance and Security

Elgar original reference

Edited by James Sperling

The Handbook of Governance and Security examines the conceptual evolution of security governance and the different manifestations of regional security governance. In particular, James Sperling brings together unique contributions from leading scholars to explore the role of institutions that have emerged as critical suppliers of security governance and the ever-widening set of security issues that can be viewed profitably through a governance lens.

Chapter 18: Cyberspace

Scott Jasper

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, regulation and governance, terrorism and security


All sectors of the economy rely on networks, systems and services that form an integrated and interconnected domain known as cyberspace. In addition, cyber assets are essential to national defense including military operations on land, at sea and in both the air and space (Manzo 2011: 1–8). Yet protecting this domain is challenging because it is boundless, open to change and accessible to all parties. These characteristics do not lend themselves to either sovereign control or legal regimes. Events in cyberspace often involve overlapping jurisdictions that pose complex issues. While nations control servers, switches and routers as well as intellectual property, they cannot regulate the movement of information across unseen borders. Recent events reveal that cyber attacks are relentless, pervasive and dangerous. As the head of US Cyber Command has warned, ‘we are collectively vulnerable to an array of threats … and actions that are advancing from exploitation to disruption to destruction’ (Alexander 2012: 5). Such actions include theft, deletion or alteration of data, interference with computer processing and damage to physical systems. Hewlett Packard found that the average cost of cybercrime for 2012 as incurred by a benchmark sample of 56 organizations in various sectors was $8.9 million and the most expensive were caused by malicious code, denial of service, hijacked devices and malevolent insiders (Hewlett Packard 2012). As well as personal or corporate property theft, the hackers can manipulate or destroy systems, even in the case of space assets with interference of Landsat 7 and Terra imaging satellites (Johnson 2011: 15).

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