Walter J. Unger/Sigmar Stadlmeier/Andreas Troll


Cyberspace is the virtual space which has come into being by the interconnectedness of computers. At the moment, about two billions of people and about five billions of computers are parts of this cyberspace. Interconnectedness is still increasing quickly. According to estimations, about five billions of people and about 20 billion of computers will be interconnected by 2020. Within the framework of their technical, economic, social, cultural, scientific and political development, highly developed states rely upon cyberspace more than ever. Meanwhile, many areas depend on the availability, confidentiality and integrity of cyber infrastructure. In recent years the threat by attacks in cyberspace has increased so rapidly that numerous states have felt compelled to react with concepts on a strategic level. In order to enhance the robustness of communication and information systems which are supposed to protect the defence and security interests of the EU member states, the emphasis of the development of cyber defence capacities should be in perceiving complex cyber threats, reacting to them, and re-establishing systems. In the first instance, after an elaborate analysis process, Austria has reacted with the IKT-Security Strategy of 2012 and with the Austrian Strategy for Cyber Security, too. The Austrian Strategy for Cyber Security is based on the Austrian Security Strategy is oriented towards the principles of the program for the protection of critical infrastructures. With the resolution of the council of ministers of March 2013, the cyber defence task was assigned to the Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports. Thus, the basic military mission of national defence was also extended to cyberspace. In this connection, cyberspace must be understood as the expansion of physical space; apart from land water, air and space, the importance of cyberspace as the 5th dimension is increasing continuously in all military plannings. Cyber defence has been defined as the „entirety of all measures for defending cyberspace with military and specifically applicable means for achieving military strategic objectives. Cyber defence is an integrated system and, as a whole, consists of implementing the measures concerning IKT security and information security, capabilities of “military Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (milCERT), Computer Network Operations (CNO), and support by the physical capabilities of the armed forces. In order to accomplish this mission, the vulnerability of our information society and its threats caused by cyber attacks must be analysed. From the results of these analyses one has to deduce the challenges and necessary measures for defence in the case of war. As cyberspace includes the whole planet, crossing national borders, international cooperation for the repulsion of attacks will be necessary. For Austria, the measures taken by the EU are directive. On both the international and the national level, however, there is the challenge to create adequate legal bases.