The U.S. government has established an arsenal of economic warfare tools aimed at weakening rogue actors, isolating illicit finance, and protecting the global economy. Washington’s playbook is filled with asset freezes, sanctions, trade embargoes, and blacklists. At the same time, the Information Age has led to a transformative development in the realm of economic warfare: the potential use of cyberattacks to cause the U.S. substantial economic harm and weaken its national security capacity.
With the exception of cyberterrorism, cyberattacks on U.S. economic targets have been treated as vexing nuisances and a cost of doing business, but have not been viewed as a strategic national security threat. The changing nature and increased volume of cybercrime, espionage, hacking, and sabotage raises the question: Is there lurking a new type of action aimed specifically at undermining American economic power, destabilizing the global economic system, and threatening U.S. allies?
What are America’s vulnerabilities and how can the U.S. government and private sector recognize, monitor, deter, defend against, and defeat such warfare? A new report, Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare: An Evolving Challenge, edited by Dr. Samantha Ravich seeks to address these questions. Leading experts came together on August 3rd to discuss and debate the report’s critical findings in an event hosted by Hudson Institute and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
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