Report Warns of Inherent Risks in Cyber Technology

A new Center for New American Security report warns the immense advantages of digital technology also bring inherent risks, including the danger that cyber insecurity could undermine the mutually assured destruction doctrine America relies on to prevent nuclear war. The report, issued July 21, notes that although cyber systems “grant unprecedented powers, they also make users less secure.” The capability to greatly expand collaboration and networking creates greater risk of intrusion. And, though the ability to concentrate data may increase efficiency and scale of operations, it also “exponentially increases the amount that can be stolen or subverted by a successful attack.” The inherent risks of cyber technology are suggested in the report’s title: “Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit.” Authored by Richard Danzig, a former Navy Secretary, the report offers a list of steps to reduce vulnerabilities, starting with a goal of preventing cyber insecurity from reaching a point that would leave the nation unwilling or unable “to act on a decision fundamental to our national security.” It advocates discussing with nuclear rivals Russia and China the risk to the MAD doctrine “because of uncertainty in the cyber foundations for nuclear command, control, and attack warning.”