Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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National Security Policy Options For Cyber Ecosystem Resilience

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posted on 2024-02-27, 02:33 authored by Acworth, Flynn

National cyber insecurity is a wicked problem that threatens states’ societies, economies, polities, and natural security. In a world of increasing digital dependence, it is essential that states are resilient to the threats targeting and originating from their use of cyberspace. This research uses the metaphor of an ecosystem to conceptualize states’ use of and influence over cyberspace, and identifies four key threats facing cyber ecosystems – critical infrastructure attacks, disinformation campaigns, financially motivated cybercrime and attempts to influence Internet governance. The concept of cyber ecosystem resilience is then defined, and a framework is outlined that can be used by states to identify and implement national security policies that enhance resilience against the identified cyber threats. The value of this framework is then demonstrated by applying it to the identification of a suite of policy options available to states to enhance ecosystem resilience against the two threats of critical infrastructure attacks and disinformation campaigns.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-NC 4.0

Degree Discipline

Information Systems; Strategic Studies; Systems Thinking

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Strategic Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre for Strategic Studies

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

140109 National security; 140105 Intelligence, surveillance and space; 140103 Cyber and electronic security and warfare; 220101 E-infrastructures; 220199 Communication technologies, systems and services not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Downes, Cathy