Frontier Issues


Knowledge and technology have spread around the world as societies and economies become increasingly interconnected.

As globalization of technology, of trade, of finance and of people are interrelated and mutually reinforcing, it is easy to imagine examples whereby technology enabled greater trade and finance, where trade led to the diffusion of technologies and demand for finance, where finance has enabled trade and technological progress, and where movement of people led to knowledge spillovers.

NATO recently recognized cyberspace - next to Land, Sea, Air and Space - as the fifth domain of operations in which we must guard ourselves effectively. As cyber threats and attacks have become more common, sophisticated and damaging than ever before, we are faced with an evolving and complex threat environment. Both state and non-state actors can use cyber-attacks. In recent events, cyber-attacks have been part of hybrid warfare, they have targeted businesses and individuals and they have shaken the very foundation of our democracies.

Instead of being treated as a technical problem that calls for technical solutions, digital risk should be approached as an economic risk.

Building cyber resilience is crucial if we are to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Without a response to cyber threats, advances in other domains, including those towards the Agenda 2030 goals, remain susceptible. Yet, at present, governments – especially those of developing countries - have shown a limited ability to deal with the cascading effects of the specific challenges in catastrophes and crises in which cyber space is deeply embedded. While substantial work on cyber resilience is done by the United Nations, the efforts remain fragmented with no central place for coordination, access and knowledge exchange.