The promise and peril of active cyber defence

Michelle Mosey and Dr Irving Lachow explore the potential benefits and risks of active cyber defence options and make recommendations for all involved.

Cyber defenders in the private sector are facing a dilemma. On the one hand, governments have told them that they must largely defend themselves against cyber criminals and spies. On the other, national laws often prevent non-governmental actors from utilising all of the cyber capabilities at their disposal to counter malicious actors. As the frequency and severity of cyber attacks continue to grow, it is worth exploring whether and when companies, some of whom are extremely sophisticated, should be granted the leeway to take active steps to prevent or respond to cyber incidents. In this video recorded at ANU in July 2017, Michelle Mosey and Dr Irving Lachow explore the potential benefits and risks of active cyber defence options and recommend steps that government, corporate and academic leaders can take to address this complex issue.

Michelle Mosey joined the National Security College in April 2017, on secondment from the Department of Defence as the Senior Advisor Cyber Security. Michelle’s career has focussed on national security elements in intelligence and security, with a strong focus on emerging technologies, cyber and information policy development and multi-national relationships. Michelle holds a Master of Arts in Strategy & Management from the University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Further Education & Training for the University of Queensland and has attended the Senior Executives in National & International Security Executive Program at Harvard / Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Dr Irving Lachow has spent over 20 years working at the intersection of technology and policy issues, with the last 15 years being primarily focused on cybersecurity. He joined MITRE in 2010 as a Principal Cyber Engineer and has worked on and led a number of projects across a range of cyber policy and technology areas for the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and the Department of State. Dr Lachow is currently a Portfolio Manager and is leading the company’s international cyber programs. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Strategic and International Studies and an advisor to the Mach37 Cyber Accelerator. Dr Lachow received his PhD in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and an AB in political science and a BS in physics from Stanford University. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications, including books, articles and reports.

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