Cyber operations related to recent elections are symptomatic of the ongoing ‘information struggle’ with the West that Russia sees itself as being engaged in.

To the Russian way of thinking, the information space ties the technical and psychological domains together, both of which are utilized to achieve the desired effects. Cyberspace is not restricted to the technical domain, but can also be used to achieve effects in the psychological domain.

Individuals are currently insufficiently protected against nation-state actors in cyberspace, creating vulnerabilities in democratic societies. Governments need to find ways to counter and deter attacks against their citizens in cyberspace as well.

Attributing cyber attacks is an effort in interpreting the technical breadcrumb trail left behind after attacks, but when dealing with nation-state actors, the political cost of attribution becomes a factor in determining responses.

Veli-Pekka Kivimäki