The Impact of New and Emerging Technologies on the Cyber Threat Landscape and Their Implications for NATO

Published in: Cyber Threats and NATO 2030: Horizon Scanning and Analysis, Chapter 5, pages 88–107 (2020)

Posted on RAND.org on January 12, 2021

by Jacopo Bellasio, Erik Silfversten

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Recent years have seen significant advances in a wide array of new and emerging technologies with disruptive potential, several of which have an inherent cyber dimension. These include, inter alia, artificial intelligence and machine learning, autonomous devices and systems, telecommunications and computing technologies, satellites and space assets, human-machine interfaces and quantum computing. This paper provides an overview of some of the key technology trends for the coming decade and their potential implications for the future cyber threat landscape and NATO. The paper provides an overview of challenges that could emerge from individual technologies,from complex interactions between them, as well as with broader socio-economic trends. It also discusses how technological change and development may occur at such a pace, and have such wide-ranging impact, that NATO and its member states could struggle to achieve its mission and objectives. It concludes by putting forward a set of considerations for preparing for, responding to, and mitigating these challenges.

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