State of vulnerability: Australia-US cyber maturity

Author: Matthew Holding

Holding, Matthew, 2017 State of vulnerability: Australia-US cyber maturity, Flinders University, College of Business, Government and Law

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This thesis examines the efforts made by Australia and the United States to improve their own cyber governance and to cooperate with each other on cybersecurity. Effective cyber governance is measured by the strength of a state’s cyber maturity which is demonstrated by the presence and implementation of effective cyber-related structures, policies, legislation and organisations. With the use of a theoretical framework this thesis examines both states cyber maturity through four specific categories. These categories are: (1) accurate threat analysis; (2) coordinated institutional structure; (3) coherent cyber policy, and (4) establishment of cyber defence responsibility. Analysing these states cyber maturity and their cooperation through this framework allows for a deeper understanding of contemporary trends of cyber governance as well as the threats and challenges which national government’s face. This thesis concludes that both states have developed cyber governance which will largely result in strong cyber maturity. In a global security climate where cyberspace is becoming more vulnerable and compromised, both states made strong efforts to develop cyber governance which best positions them to defend against the future of cyber threats. Furthermore, this thesis finds that both states have made efforts to strengthen their historical alliance by committing to cyber cooperation. Through institutional alliance collaboration, Australia and the US have focused on deepening their cyber engagement to advance their respective economic and security interests.

Keywords: Cyber, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Studies, Cyberterrorism, Cyber Policy, Alliance Studies, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Security Studies, Terrorism Studies, Counterterrorism Studies, Radicalism Studies, National Security, Regional Security, Australian Foreign Policy, American Foreign Policy, Digital Diplomacy, Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific Security, Australia, United States of America

Subject: International Relations thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: College of Business, Government and Law
Supervisor: Dr. Maryanne Kelton