Presentation Title

Asymmetric Threats: Analyzing the Future of Nuclear Terrorism & Cyber Attacks - The Value of Deterrence Theory for Addressing the Challenges of Nuclear Terrorism in the age of 21st Century Cybersecurity

Start Date

April 2020

End Date

April 2020

Major Field of Study

Political Science

Second Major

Graphic Design

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Alison Howard, MA

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Given the rapid development and ease of access to technology, the threat of extremist organizations utilizing cyberspace as a means to target critical American strategic infrastructure is of increasing concern. The risk posed by the acquisition of fissile material, sabotage, or use of a nuclear device by an extremist organization has been exasperated due to technological development outpacing strategy. Despite policy-makers’ attempts to protect the public from cyber-attacks and nuclear terrorism, the federal policies in place have failed to account for the continual evolution of technology and the gaps in security that this advancement brings. Examining the use of deterrence theory in congressional documents by legislators, there are two significant questions to be answered regarding U.S. national security policy practices when looking at the relationship between cybersecurity and the danger of nuclear terrorism. This thesis asks how U.S. policy regarding nuclear terrorism has changed given a rise in cyberthreats? Given the analysis of this, this thesis will attempt to address the second question of what federal agency is most capable of dealing with cyberthreats concerning nuclear terrorism? The research involved will have implications for scholars studying nuclear security, cybersecurity, and the policy-making process of strategic national security policy.

Comments

This presentation was accepted for the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference at Dominican University of California. The Conference was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Apr 22nd, 10:00 AM Apr 22nd, 8:00 PM

Asymmetric Threats: Analyzing the Future of Nuclear Terrorism & Cyber Attacks - The Value of Deterrence Theory for Addressing the Challenges of Nuclear Terrorism in the age of 21st Century Cybersecurity

Given the rapid development and ease of access to technology, the threat of extremist organizations utilizing cyberspace as a means to target critical American strategic infrastructure is of increasing concern. The risk posed by the acquisition of fissile material, sabotage, or use of a nuclear device by an extremist organization has been exasperated due to technological development outpacing strategy. Despite policy-makers’ attempts to protect the public from cyber-attacks and nuclear terrorism, the federal policies in place have failed to account for the continual evolution of technology and the gaps in security that this advancement brings. Examining the use of deterrence theory in congressional documents by legislators, there are two significant questions to be answered regarding U.S. national security policy practices when looking at the relationship between cybersecurity and the danger of nuclear terrorism. This thesis asks how U.S. policy regarding nuclear terrorism has changed given a rise in cyberthreats? Given the analysis of this, this thesis will attempt to address the second question of what federal agency is most capable of dealing with cyberthreats concerning nuclear terrorism? The research involved will have implications for scholars studying nuclear security, cybersecurity, and the policy-making process of strategic national security policy.