If there is anything cyber experts, media and Congress all struggle with when discussing cyberspace, it is the definitions of key concepts in that realm. Now, a U.S.-Russian initiative is proposing common definitions to help establish standards and clear up some of the widespread confusion.
Cyberspace, for example, is listed as “an electronic medium through which information is created, transmitted, received, stored, processed and deleted.” And cybersecurity is “a property of cyberspace that is an ability to resist intentional and unintentional threats and respond and recover.”
When it comes to oft-used doomsday concepts, cyber war is “an escalated state of cyber conflict between or among states in which cyberattacks are carried out by state actors against cyber infrastructure as part of a military campaign,” either formally declared by an authority or without the absence of a declaration. Cyber warfare has been defined as “cyber attacks that are authorized by state actors against cyber infrastructure in conjunction with a government campaign.”
Commenting on the release of the taxonomy, EWI Chief Technology Officer Karl Rauscher said while the effort may seem as a small step, “Russians and Americans have never before sat down and really agreed on the terms that are the prerequisite for rules of the road for cyber conflict,”
“Defining terms together is the first step for creating international cybersecurity agreements,” he said in a release.