Most of the strategists and military experts considered cyberwarfare as a force multiplier in the global reshaping of the military affairs. Preparing for a “cyber Pearl Harbor” we have missed the overall picture where State and non-State actors use cyber tools to conduct their global information war.
This paper proposes a broad overview of the concept of hybrid threat and how it applies in cyberspace. Built to counter a major cyberattack against our National Critical Infrastructure (NCI), most of the cyber forces are not well adapted to face the guerilla style warfare imposed by our adversaries. Based on recent lessons learned, this paper enlightens the challenges and opportunities of countering hybrid threats in cyberspace.
There is, so far, no clear definition of the ‘hybrid threat’ concept in Western military institutions although there is no longer any debate about the reality of its existence in cyberspace. Whether one refers to the 2006 Israeli – Hezbollah war, to the Ukrainian crisis or to the operations performed by the so-called Islamic State (IS), the global strategy of the warring actors fully takes into account operations in cyberspace.
Military organizations and doctrines faced with this form of warfare on and via the networks, which act as a mirror of air-land fighting, are subject to conflicting requirements. Therefore, structures of force have to quickly adjust to the persistence of State conventional or proliferating threats while regularly facing irregular adversaries, and also take the fifth operational domain of warfare[i] into account.
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