Amy Walters /

Facts and Findings

Mapping of cyber doctrines

by Stefan Soesanto

Outward Defense – Comparing the Cyber Defense Postures of Japan, the Netherlands and the United States in Peace Time

In light of the discussion on the alignment of cyber doctrines this brief uses the defense postures of Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States, to exemplify their contrasting evolutionary pathways. By outlining their core guidelines, organizational background and operational conduct, the comparison of these three countries illustrates the spectrum from more defensive to more offensive postures.

Targeted campaigns by adversarial nation state actors led to the evolution of cyber defense postures – their orientation ranges from more defensive to more offensive.

Japan‘s defensively orientated approach focuses on hardening Japanese IT systems and increasing their resilience. The Dutch cyber defense posture is geared toward counter-intelligence efforts both at home and abroad to spoil adversarial campaigns. By conducting operations in adversarial networks, the US strategy of persistent engagement proactively seeks to create friction within adversarial operations.

Common to the three approaches is that the tasks of the military and (civilian) intelligence agencies overlap – the trend is toward organizational integration and joint operations.

Currently none of the considered countries has found an effective and coherent approach to address all state sponsored malicious cyber activities yet. Therefore, continuous experimentation and a willingness to adapt and learn remains key to better defend the homeland in cyberspace.

Read the entire “Facts and Findings” here as a PDF.


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About this series

The series informs in a concentrated form about important positions of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on current topics. The individual issues present key findings and recommendations, offer brief analyses, explain the Foundation's further plans and name KAS contact persons.


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