In this ever more Internet-connected age, it is no surprise that cyber threats continue to increase. The more indispensable such connectivity is for commerce, communications, and innumerable aspects of daily life, the more that malicious actors see opportunities to steal (or hold hostage) the information lifeblood of our contemporary economy, or otherwise to profit malevolently from modern dependencies. But the problem goes beyond the “ordinary” criminality of fraud and theft, and even the “traditional” cyber espionage undertaken by states.
The emergence of a new era of great power competition has raised the stakes in the cyber arena. Adding to the problems we already faced from cyber criminality, we now also must address a new layer of geopolitical threat from revisionist states such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation. These states use cyber tools to steal technology to build up the military capabilities they array against us, to prepare for devastating attacks upon our critical infrastructure in the event of crisis or conflict, to carry out disruptive cyber attacks aimed at destabilizing our allies and partners, and to influence and manipulate our electoral processes.