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Between Hype and Understatement: Reassessing Cyber Risks as a Security Strategy
Journal of Strategic Security
  • Audrey Guinchard, , Ph.D., University of Essex, United Kingdom
Author Biography

Dr. Audrey Guinchard, Senior Lecturer in Law (2009–Present), joined the University of Essex (UK) in October 2000 and is the co-director of the double degree LLB English and French Laws with Master 1/Maîtrise. She has a Licence en droit, an LL.M., and a Ph.D. in criminal law from the University of Jean Moulin (Lyon, France). Her current research focuses on crime and the virtual world as a starting point for a broader perspective on criminal law's ability to adapt to new technologies. In 2010, she was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge as part of the program on The Future University. Bringing a comparative law perspective to bear on criminal law issues, she published notably on hate crimes and on the concept of criminal charges regarding financial services, both in French and in English.

Publication Date
Most of the actions that fall under the trilogy of cyber crime, terrorism,and war exploit pre-existing weaknesses in the underlying technology.Because these vulnerabilities that exist in the network are not themselvesillegal, they tend to be overlooked in the debate on cyber security. A UKreport on the cost of cyber crime illustrates this approach. Its authorschose to exclude from their analysis the costs in anticipation of cybercrime, such as insurance costs and the costs of purchasing anti-virus software on the basis that "these are likely to be factored into normal dayto-day expenditures for the Government, businesses, and individuals.This article contends if these costs had been quantified and integratedinto the cost of cyber crime, then the analysis would have revealed thatwhat matters is not so much cyber crime, but the fertile terrain of vulnerabilities that unleash a range of possibilities to whomever wishes toexploit them. By downplaying the vulnerabilities, the threats representedby cyber war, cyber terrorism, and cyber crime are conversely inflated.Therefore, reassessing risk as a strategy for security in cyberspace mustinclude acknowledgment of understated vulnerabilities, as well as a betterdistributed knowledge about the nature and character of the overhypedthreats of cyber crime, cyber terrorism, and cyber war.
Citation Information
Audrey Guinchard. "Between Hype and Understatement: Reassessing Cyber Risks as a Security Strategy" (2011)
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