Previous Events

CCSA serves as a hub for the cyber conflict community, connecting policymakers, analysts, technologists, and others in the field to each other to further the study of cyber conflict.


July 2013 - Launch Event for A Fierce Domain

On July 18, the Homeland Security Policy Institute hosted a launch event for A Fierce Domain: Conflict in Cyber Space 1986 to 2012.  CCSA's Jason Healey edited the book, which addresses key lessons in cyber security for policymakers and high level officials.  Drawn from past cyber incidents that have occurred over the 26 year time frame, A Fierce Domain serves as a major wake up call to the threats posed in cyberspace.  The book also discusses where these lessons greatly differ from popular myths common in military and political circles.  A Fierce Domain is published by CCSA partnered with Atlantic Council.  Check out CCSA's blog about the book here.


June 2013 - Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge was a student-only competition where participants had to make high-level policy recommendations.  These recommendations were based on day-after responses from a scenario that saw the United States come under a major cyber attack to critical infrastructure. This inaugural event, organized by the Atlantic Council and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), took place at American University on June 15. 

Throughout the course of the event, the scenario continued to evolve, forcing teams to know key policy priorities on the fly and adapt to the changing conditions of the attack. Panels of judges evaluated and provided feedback to the team’s responses, including leading cyber security policy experts from the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and throughout the Intelligence Community. The competition saw nineteen teams participate from seventeen different universities, and $5,000 in cash prizes for top finishing teams and individuals.


August 2012 – “Addressing Cyber Instability” Monograph Launch Event

This event marked the launch of the CCSA Monograph following the release of its Executive Summary. Following two years of study, “Addressing Cyber Instability” brings together leading thinkers in the cyber security field to talk about five major research vectors -- strategic-level issues, military and operational, non-state actors in cyberspace, domestic and international law, and approaches for mitigating cyber conflict. At the event, these leading thinkers discussed the concept of cyber instability and its implications for the future of cyberspace, making key recommendations for future US and international cyber policy. The panel also examined what an unstable environment means for long-term strategy, military operations, non-state actors, US and international law, and risk management in cyberspace. 

With the emergence of cyberspace as an indispensable and irreplaceable part of the daily lives of individuals, companies, and entire nations; politics, economics, social interaction, and national security have been fundamentally altered, leading to new opportunities and threats. This rapidly growing dependence includes two core problems, one technical and one policy-related. For more information, the monograph is available online, in paperback, hardback, and ePub.


September 2011 – "Cyber Statecraft: Addressing Strategic Cyber Instability"

This conference addressed the issue of how strategic instability will be an inherent factor in cyber conflict for the foreseeable future, according to preliminary findings of a research effort by the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA). The conference gave a preview of research being done by CCSA on the causes of this instability, along with the impacts and approaches nations can take to address it.  The event was co-sponsored by the Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations, and CCSA, with the full findings to be published by CCSA before the end of the year.

The findings go on to note how some of the causes and concerns for instability in cyberspace have been recognized for years. These include the advantage of offense over defense, low barriers to entry, vulnerability of critical infrastructure, possibility for cascading effects, difficulty of attribution, lack of norms, and the relative ease of crossing international borders over intercontinental ranges.  Despite this, when these factors are combined, policymakers and researchers have not come to fully appreciate how cyber conflict is far more unstable than conflict in other domains.


September 2010 – "Furthering the Field: A Comprehensive Program for Cyber Conflict Studies"

This conference was headlined by former National Security Council official Richard Clarke. In a speech to CCSA in Washington, Clarke went on to critique the Obama administration’s cyber security policies, and how Obama’s administration had not done enough in regards to cyber war.  Clarke went on to cite other shortcomings in cyber security related to Homeland Security programs being under funded and taking little action to protect important national infrastructure.  Also at this conference, the principle investigators of the six studies that make up the monograph on cyber conflict reviewed the progress of their research and highlighted new research questions that arose.

To learn more about the studies that make up the monograph, please click on each below.

Strategic Cyber Conflict Issues by Dr. James Mulvenon

U.S. Critical Infrastructure Vulnerabilities, a Primer by Matt Devost

What is to be Done Next?  by Dr. Sami Saydjari

Cyber Conflict at the Operational Levelby Bob Gourley and Sam Liles

Challenges and Opportunities of Non-State Actorsby Dr. Greg Rattray and Jason Healey

International and U.S. Legal Issues for Cyber Conflict by Eneken Tikk and Maeve Dion