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The key features of cyber security strategies

This article looks at the cyber securities strategies that have concepts in common. We dive into these similarities in detail.

The cyber security report by OECD (2012) states that most cyber security strategies have the following concepts:

  • Enhanced governmental coordination at policy and operational levels
  • Reinforced public-private cooperation
  • Improved international cooperation
  • Respect for fundamental values

Let’s have a look at them in more detail.

Enhanced governmental coordination at policy and operational levels

Generally, responsibility for cyber security policymaking and implementation is assigned to the government.

Nevertheless, due to the complicated nature of cyber security, there is no single governing body that holds all responsibilities. Therefore, coordination among the relevant bodies is vital.

For example, in the UK there is the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that works in cooperation with other related governmental agencies, when required, such as GCHQ, etc.

As they state themselves:

The NCSC provides a single point of contact for SMEs, larger organisations, government agencies, the general public and departments. We also work collaboratively with other law enforcement, defence, the UK’s intelligence and security agencies and international partners.
(NCSC n.d.)

Reinforced public-private cooperation

It is clear that cyberspace is largely owned and operated by the private sector. Therefore, it is paramount that policies should be based on inclusive public-private partnerships, such as business, civil society, the internet technical community and academia.
As the NCSC states:
The NCSC support the most critical organisations in the UK, the wider public sector, industry, SMEs as well as the general public. When incidents do occur, [the NCSC] provides an effective incident response to minimise harm to the UK, help with recovery, and learn lessons for the future
(NCSC n.d.)

Improved international cooperation

International cooperation, better partnerships with like-minded countries or allies are important. Most countries, however, provide little detail on how to reach international cooperation.
There are some exceptions though. For instance, the US’s specific international strategy for cyberspace and the UK’s concept of international norms of behaviour in cyberspace can also be found in the Australian and German strategies.
However, more cooperation is required from such international organisations such as the Council of Europe, the EU, the G7, the OECD, the OSCE, and the UN, including the ITU.

Respect for fundamental values

Cyber security policies should respect fundamental values, such as privacy, freedom of speech, the free flow of information.


Hill, R. (2015) ‘Dealing with Cyber Security Threats: International Cooperation, ITU, and WCIT’. International Conference on Cyber Conflict, CYCON. January, Article. no. 7158473, 119–134

OECD (2012) Cybersecurity Policy Making at a Turning Point. Analysing a New Generation of National Cybersecurity Strategies for the Internet Economy. Paris: OECD. available from [5 September 2019]

The National Cyber Security Centre (n.d) About the NCSC [online] available from [5 September 2019]

The National Cyber Security Centre (n.d) The National Cyber Security Centre [online] available from [5 September 2019]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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