CONTEMPORARY SECURITY STUDIES, Allan Collins, ed., Oxford University Press, 2012 (Textbook entry)

33 Pages Posted: 11 May 2012 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Myriam Dunn Cavelty

Myriam Dunn Cavelty

ETH Zurich - Center for Security Studies

Date Written: May 9, 2012


This textbook chapter analyses why cyber-security is considered one of the key national security issues of our times. The first section provides the necessary technical background information. The second unravels three different, but interrelated discourses about cyber-security: discourse number one has a technical focus and is about viruses and worms. Number two looks at the interrelationship between the phenomenon of cyber-crime and cyber-espionage. Number three is a military and civil defense-driven discourse about the double-edged sword of fighting wars in the information domain and the need for critical infrastructure protection. Based on this, the third section turns to selected protection concepts from each of the three discourses. The final section sets the threat into perspective: despite heightened media attention and a general feeling of impending cyber-doom in some government circles, the level of cyber-risk is generally overstated. This has important repercussions for decision-makers and students, which are addressed in the concluding section.

Keywords: cyber-security, cyber-war, securitization, cyber-crime, cyber-espionage

Suggested Citation

Dunn Cavelty, Myriam, Cyber-Security (May 9, 2012). CONTEMPORARY SECURITY STUDIES, Allan Collins, ed., Oxford University Press, 2012 (Textbook entry), Available at SSRN:

Myriam Dunn Cavelty (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - Center for Security Studies ( email )

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