The malicious use of Information and Communication Technologies is escalating in sophistication, frequency and scale of attack, affecting people in countries throughout the world.

 

Cyber tools are being used as weapons and methods of warfare; harmful content and disinformation campaigns are proliferating online, and essential critical infrastructure is being targeted on a regular basis. There is, however, hope that this could change as the global drive for peace and security in cyberspace progresses. But how to achieve cyber peace if we cannot measure the current situation of threats and harm, the effectiveness of our responses , and the next steps needed?

Monitoring cyber peace

CyberPeace Watch

Cyberpeace is possible when the world's digital ecosystems promote human security, dignity, and equity. Achieving peace in cyberspace  is significantly hampered by the fact that to date there is no mechanism to track the status of cyber peace, which means that a baseline of understanding and shared knowledge is required to achieve this goal.

With the CyberPeace Watch, an interactive online platform that provides a publicly accessible baseline of data to understand and share knowledge about cyberattacks, including threat analysis, societal harm, applicable laws and norms, and related paths for accountability, the CyberPeace Institute seeks to fill this gap. The platform's goal is to assess cyberpeace based on evidence of the societal harm caused by cyberattacks and the actions taken by states and other relevant actors to strengthen responsible behaviour in cyberspace.

Identify

Analyze

Recommend

Engage

Analyzing

Systemic threats to peace

The CyberPeace Watch will provide a comprehensive analysis of systemic threats to cyber peace that arise in a variety of and complex contexts, such as international armed conflict, non-international armed conflict, threats against critical infrastructure, targeted surveillance and disinformation occurring in peacetime. This will be informed by the Institute's ongoing and future work on the monitoring of cyberattacks against vulnerable communities, which already provides an in-depth analysis of threats, as well as insights on the societal impact and harm of cyberattacks, and the legal and normative frameworks:

CyberPeace Watch Pillars

Analysis of malicious activity and cyberattacks

Documents cyberattacks and operations, providing information on the what, when, where, how, and who of incidents impacting society and vulnerable communities.

Assessment of societal impact and harm

Collates information related to various types of impact including physical, psychological, digital, informational enabling an assessment of the harm caused by disruptive and malicious cyber incidents.

Tracking of accountability and responsible behaviour

Tracks and analyzes conduct in cyberspace in order to provide information on measures for responsible behaviour and accountability, with a focus on state actors and companies.

Documentation of cybersecurity governance instruments

Captures legal, normative, institutional and technical instruments applicable to counter cyberattacks and reduce their impact, focusing on regional and global levels.

Measuring the Harms of Cyberattacks and Incidents

A key contribution to advancing responsible behaviour in cyberspace is recognition that cyberattacks and incidents do not just attack or harm technology, do not always have (easily) reversible effects, and can have impacts at national and international levels.  A clarification on what constitutes harm in a comprehensive and measurable manner is required, coupled with data-driven and evidence-based metrics, tools and frameworks for understanding, tracking, and measuring this harm. Recognizing this, the CyberPeace Institute initiated, in 2022, research and a process to develop a harms methodology.  The strategic objective is to determine the means to measure harm from cyberattacks and incidents in order to increase knowledge of the human costs, and influence policy, accountability and resilience efforts.  See the Report of Expert Meeting on the Development of a Harms Methodology: A standardized methodology to measure the harms and impacts of cyberattacks on people, society and the environment. 

Empowering Victims, Driving Accountability

As a first of its kind platform, the CyberPeace Watch collects and aggregates knowledge crucial for people to make their own assessments about the state of cyberpeace and particularly regarding accountability. The four pillars taken together provide a platform that will:

  • Capturing and visualizing the impact and harm caused by cyberattacks
  • Highlighting the need for redress and protection of victims
  • Giving a voice, backed by evidence, to those who wish to change the status quo.
  • Evaluating the actions of state and non-state actors to better understand if their behaviour in cyberspace is responsible or not
  • Monitoring and mapping the commitments, obligations and responsibilities they have undertaken
  • Documenting attribution of cyber incidents or threats, particularly the existence of political, legal, and technical attribution.
  • Measuring the harms of cyberattacks and incidents on people, society and the environment through a standardized methodology developed by the CyberPeace Institute

Work with us

The CyberPeace Institute conducts independent and impartial investigations and analysis of cyberattacks and is the sole developer of its public platforms and analysis, including the CyberPeace Watch, enabling its insights to be neutral and independent. We advocate for an inclusive and multistakeholder approach to achieving cyberpeace, and welcome the views and contributions of organizations and affiliations to partner with us. If you think your research or analysis can be valuable to the CyberPeace Watch, contact us.

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