Cyber conflict is hard to conceptualize because cyberspace itself is hard to understand. The best definition is the one that popularized the term. William Gibson of Nueromancer fame, wrote that Cyberspace is: A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions … Unthinkable complexity.
Gibson really nailed it. Cyberspace today is all our interconnected IT. And it is absolutely of unthinkable complexity.
This unthinkable complexity makes it very different from the physical world we evolved in, and that contributes to the fact that so many people do not understand either the potential of cyberspace or the threats that emanate from it. It is really hard to grasp the threat or what actions are required to defend against threat actors.
But this ignorance is no excuse! Cyberspace itself holds the answer to beating this ignorance. We can all use Cyberspace to get a hold of well researched, well documented histories of cyber conflict and can benefit from the lessons learned in previous episodes of our history. Which leads to the book: A Fierce Domain by Jason Healey. This book is a first of its kind. It provides a comprehensive history of cyber conflict in a way that generates lessons learned from every major engagement. It identifies key issues for policy makers, and spells out clearly the difference between common myths and reality.
There is a great conflict underway right now. We want to be on the winning side. That will only be possible if our populace and policy makers are well educated on what we are up against. That is possible now, thanks to Healey.
For more see: A Fierce Domain: Conflict in Cyberspace, 1986 to 2012
If you are a policy-maker over a large organization or responsible for crafting law/regulations you need this book to help shape your actions. If you are a citizen you need this book to help shape your agenda for action and what policies you will support. And if you are home user or business user you can use this book to help strengthen your defenses.
For more on cyber conflict see: The History of Cyber Conflict Started Much Earlier Than Most Realize
And see our Defend Yourself tips for the latest context on protecting your information. And