The Operational Application of Offensive Cyber: Challenges and Opportunities

The use of cyber operations to disrupt, degrade or destroy target systems is an area that attracts increasing attention and speculation in a way that sometimes adds more heat than light to the debate.  Discussion of doctrine and tactics does not always reflect the legal, ethical and practical questions involved in the use of offensive cyber capabilities by democratic nations.  And the language used around cyber operations can sometimes also present difficulties. What are the practical issues involved in the application of offensive cyber by democracies? And what are some of the challenges and opportunities in developing a doctrine for this capability?

Conrad Prince is a Distinguished Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, and the institute’s senior cyber adviser. Prior to that he spent most of his career at the UK’s cyber intelligence and security agency, the Government Communications Headquarters. He was the agency’s deputy head from 2008 – 2015, responsible for its intelligence and cyber operations, policy, strategy and international relations. In 2015 he was appointed the UK Government’s first Cyber Ambassador. He left Government service in 2018, after which, in addition to working with RUSI,  he took up a range of private sector cyber strategy advisory roles.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.40