Cyber war is unlikely, says Oxford study

Cyber war is unlikely, says Oxford study

Heavy lobbying, lurid language and poor analysis are inhibiting government planning for cyber protection, according to the new report on Systemic Cyber Security published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The study by Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford, and Professor Peter Sommer of the London School of Economics concludes that it is highly unlikely there will ever be a pure ‘“cyber war” fought solely in cyberspace with equivalent
effects to recent wars in Afghanistan, the Balkans or the Middle East.

The report, part of a wider OECD project on Future Global Shocks, is aimed at governments, global businesses and policy makers.

It looks at the nature of global catastrophes and then asks which possible cyber-events might create similar effects.

In addition to the actions of governments and terrorists, the study considers criminals and accidents.

There is a review of current government action, an examination of how governments interact with the private sector and a consideration of the prospects for international cooperation and treaties. The best protections are careful system design, the use of products to detect known viruses and system intrusions and user education, says the report.