Strategy has always been a follow-up idea, as it is the pursuit of goals that are directed against limited available resources. In human history, advances in technology have redefined the way we deal with hostilities and the way we wage wars. The 21stst The 20th century has seen a spectacular surge in cyber capabilities. In just over three decades since the World Wide Web entered human life, there are now more than four billion active Internet users with cyberspace pervading every area of our lives. The aim of this article is to shed some light on the real impact of cyber-potency on data-driven strategy in our world today and in the future.
Cyberspace – A New Paradigm
In traditional conflicts and wars, states or their representatives faced the strategy of overpowering their opponents in the areas of air, sea, land and space. Now cyberspace has quickly become the fifth domain of warfare, with the keyboard and mouse appearing to be the modern weapon of choice. In 2010, the US recognized cyberspace as an operational area, stating that “cybersecurity threats are one of the greatest national security, public safety and economic challenges we face as a nation.” Former CIA director Leon Panetta even warned in 2011 that “the next Pearl Harbor could be a cyberattack”.
Cyberspace, a unique man-made construct, has given war a new meaning as anyone can attack almost anyone from anywhere, anytime. Because of its virtual nature, the threat landscape has expanded immeasurably, where security concerns emanate from faceless and indistinguishable adversaries. Digital technologies have also accelerated the rise of non-state actors as significant entities in world politics. All of this has raised questions about the adequacy of past and present strategic thinking. Colin Gray comments: “The immaturity of strategic theory for cyber is usually accepted as an inevitable and not too worrying consequence of the novelty of cyberspace.”
Should there be a cyber strategy?
Many strategists have downplayed cyber skills only as a tool and not as a new weapon of war. Colin Gray Believes “Cyber Power Should Be Another Weapon Category” and does not regard cyber as significantly different from previous operational areas in terms of tactical application and strategy. In this sense, Thomas Rid claims that “there was no and no Pearl Harbor of cyberwar”.. According to him, the word “war” in “cyberwar” “has more metaphorical value than descriptive value. He claims that cyberattacks differ from conventional warfare because they do not conform to Clausewitz’s definition of war as the violent, instrumental and political use of force. He stated that the colossal Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Estonia in 2007 cannot be described as an act of war, as “the mere blocking of websites is not violent”.
Despite denying cyberspace’s war capabilities, Rid admits that “cyberspace is turning the balance between attack and defense upside down by making attacking easier and cheaper, while making defense more difficult and resource-intensive”.  Although Rid displayed a disdain for a brand new cyber strategy, this final observation from Rid makes one ponder a novel strategic thought for cyberspace.
New future, new conflicts
According to Sun Tzu, victory can be achieved by subjugating the enemy without even fighting. Such a pursuit of triumph without sending a soldier across the border is best done in cyberspace. Larry May admitted that the goal of cyber attacks is never to kill or wound soldiers, but rather to destroy property. Speaking of which ends These attacks aim “that the destruction of the computer programs that control centrifuges in a nuclear power plant, or the power grid that supplies electricity to military installations, can have predictable secondary effects that civilians and perhaps soldiers too will suffer.”
Without directly harming humans, cyber attacks have caused damage to billions in the physical infrastructure that ultimately affects people’s lives. The infamous shamoon attack on Saudi Aramco and the 2015 cyber attack against Ukrainian power distribution There are few cases in which adversaries around the world take advantage of cyber fragility. In addition to damaging physical infrastructure, cyber attacks have resulted in massive data breaches among multinational corporations and government agencies, resulting in financial loss and the loss of confidential information and intellectual property. Far below this institutional level of destruction, cybercrime has marred the lives of individuals. Millions of LinkedIn credentials were available thanks to a massive cyber attack on the dark internet, costing many of their privacy and virtual lives.
Globally, the US, China and Russia are said to have the most impressive cyber offensive skills they used to suppress their nemes. While the US has used Stuxnet to suppress Iran’s nuclear program, China has been accused of conducting cyber espionage campaigns and hacking information from US, Japanese and Indian military networks. In 2020, the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee alleged that Russia had relentlessly attacked countries around the world with malicious cyber attacks, as well as influencing democratic elections. Another fascinating aspect of cyberspace is how it leveled the playing field. Now, lower-tier rogue states are capable of malicious attacks like Iran, which launched denial-of-service attacks on American financial institutions after the Stuxnet attack and North Korea disrupted South Korean networks.
Cyberspace has not only undermined political boundaries, it has also shaken the roots of the Westphalian system that gave priority to states. The lack of geographic boundaries and the apparent opacity in this fifth area of warfare have allowed a multitude of malicious non-state actors to emerge as security threats. The Georgian cyber attacks before the start of the Georgia-Russia war in 2008 and the anonymous group’s Operation Israel show the rapid rise of non-state cyber actors. The perplexed mode of non-state actors, their unusual anatomy, confusing loyalties and diverse motivations have drastically influenced strategy in the cyber world and made its effects stressful.
New challenges, new damage controls
We are experiencing a “cybersecurity dilemma” that is changing government strategies in the wake of increasing cyber capabilities in various countries. The nefarious cyber attacks on Estonia in 2007 had far-reaching repercussions around the world. Estonia built tremendous cyber capabilities quickly and in 2008 hosted NATO’s Center of Excellence in Cooperative Cyber Defense. The United States discussed the creation of a cyber command in 2009, and established it in 2010, that “acts globally in real time against determined and capable opponents. “ China soon formed the “information security base” under its PLA General Staff Division, which acts as the cyber command.
Despite various government efforts, each cyberspace strategy is weakened by some unique challenges. Deterrence, the ability to prevent an opponent from attacking, becomes confusing as the cyber-enemy’s identity, skills, and motives are almost always uncertain. Deterrence is also worsened by “very limited or no situational awareness” in cyberspace. In addition, policymakers are wondering how useful traditional nuclear strategy concepts such as preventive first strike or mutually assured destruction can be in today’s reality. Another question that puzzles strategists is how a government would respond to problems in cyberspace when most of that area is in the private sector. In America, approximately 85% of critical infrastructure is owned or operated by the private sector and not directly monitored by federal agencies. Additionally, there are a wide variety of cyber threats such as espionage, sabotage, and disruption. However, there is uncertainty about their status and definition, and there is no effective international governance model to help shape government strategy.
Joseph Nye tries to resolve some of these dilemmas and suggests denial in cyberspace as deterrence. Detering an attack by strengthening one’s defensive skills to make the cost prohibitive to the opponent’s gains. It means. He says that building good cyber defenses will ensure that “the attacker’s resources and time are used up” and “the cost-benefit model that incentivizes attacks is disrupted”. Even the US cyber strategy of 2018 with the motto “Defend Forward” emphasized improving the resilience of critical infrastructures. Ben Buchanan says that in this uncertain world, countries should “consolidate their bilateral ties,” which will help “better interpret the intentions of potentially hostile actors” and improve their own security. The work of liberal democracies in forming alliances like QUAD and focusing on cyber capabilities shows their tendency towards a unified attitude towards China and its representatives.
Although the pace of innovation in the cybersphere has been faster than any other area of warfare, the strategy has always been sustainable. In relation to this, Gray says, “There is an essential unity of all strategic experience in all periods of history because nothing is critical to the nature and function of war and strategy change.” But future wars or conflicts would never resemble past or present. We live in times when we don’t even know when a cyber attack will start and when it will end, whether there will be peace or a virtual war. The goal of any strategy must be to anticipate the profound changes in the conflict environment, to develop further and to prepare efficiently in order to achieve a decisive advantage. For cyberspace, we must therefore re-analyze our longstanding beliefs about violence and war. The future of strategy in the 21stst It would be the 20th century to understand conflicts in the light of technological change as a “continuous interaction of opposites”. and then use centuries of strategic thinking.
 White House, National security strategy (Washington, DC: White House, 2010), 27, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf
 Jason Ryan, “Leon Panetta Warns of Possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor”, abc news, accessed February 26, 2021, https://abcnews.go.com/News/cia-director-leon-panetta-warns-cyber-pearl-harbor/story?id=12888905.
 Colin S. Gray, Understand cyber power strategically (Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, 2013), 3.
 Gray, “Strategic Perception of Cyber Power,” Dec.
 Ibid, 12.
 Ibid, 13.
 Thomas Rid, “Cyber war will not take place”, Journal of Strategic Studies 35, no. 1 (2012): 29.
 Ibid, 15.
 Ibid, 7.
 Ibid, 13
 Ibid., 28.
 Sun Tzu, The art of war (Dover: Dover Publication, 2002), 40.
 Larry May, “The Nature of War and the Idea of” Cyberwar “”, in Cyber war (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 5.
 May, “The Nature of War and the Idea of” Cyberwar “, 5.
 Nicole Perlroth, “Cyber attack on Saudi company, USA sees Iran firing back”, The New York Times, accessed on February 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/global/cyberattack-on-saudi-oil-firm-disquiets-us.html.
 “Ukraine Power Cut” was a cyber attack “, BBC, accessed February 25, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38573074.
 Credentials for “LinkedIn users” “For sale on the dark web” Independently, accessed on February 26, 2021, https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/millions-of-linkedin-users-log-in-details-for-sale-on-dark-web-34727328.html.
 Brandon Valeriano and Ryan C. Maness, “Cyber Power, Cyber Weapons and Cyber Operations,” in Cyber war against cyber realities (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 26.
 “Report Reveals Cyber Warfare Campaign Against Great Britain”, ComputerWeekly.Com, accessed on February 26, 2021, https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252486422/Russia-Report-reveals-long-running-cyber-warfare-campaign-against-UK.
 Ben Buchanan, The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust, and Fear Between Nations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 3.
 “About the US Cyber Command”, US Cyber Command, access to 25th February 2021, https://www.cybercom.mil/About/History/
 “China’s Cyber Command?” Jamestown, accessed February 27, 2021, https://jamestown.org/program/chinas-cyber-command/.
 “DoD has a limited awareness of cyber situations”, Federal News Network, accessed 26th February 2021, https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense/2010/06/dod-has-limited-cyber-situational-awareness/.
 “Protection of critical infrastructures and cybersecurity”, US Chamber of Commerce, accessed 26th February 2021, https://www.uschamber.com/issue-brief/critical-infrastructure-protection-information-sharing-and-cyber-security.
 Rid, “Cyber War Will Not Happen,” 28 Mar.
 Joseph S. Nye, “Deterrence and Deterrence in Cyberspace,” International security 41, no. 3 (2017): 56.
 Ibid, 56.
 US Cyber Command, “About the US Cyber Command”
 Buchanan, The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust, and Fear Between Nations, 163.
 Colin S. Gray, Modern strategy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 1.
 Carl Von Clausewitz, In war (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1989), 136.
Further reading on e-international relations