The Necessity of States Cooperation in Strengthening Cyber Security

Document Type : Original Article from Result of Thesis


1 Ph.D Student in Public International Law, Department of International law, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch ,Islamic Azad University , Isfahan ,Iran

2 Associate Professor. Department of Law, University of Isfahan , Isfahan ,Iran


Cyber attacks are a global problem that now pose great threats to the world security. Every day we see cyber attacks around the world in such a way that currently no part of the world is immune to these attacks. Capacities and potentials that The cyberspace has brought about human society has led countries to exploit these capacities and potentials for their own political and economic purposes that this has disrupted global cybersecurity. The only thing that can help solve this problem in the world is the cooperation of States at the international level to strengthen their cyber security. In this study , the question which arises is that What is the need for states to work together to strengthen their cyber security? Using the descriptive – analytical method , this question has been answered that because all aspect of human life has got dependent on cyber technologies and such a level of dependence leads to the abuse of some states in carrying out cyber attacks on the vital infrastructures of states , it is necessary that in order to strengthen cyber security , states should cooperate globally.



The computer and the Internet have been the most important inventions in human history. Cyberspace interlinks all components within the critical national infrastructure, such as communication, defense, energy, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, and economy. It facilitates actions while serving as a breeding ground for countless societal risks. Historically, governments would mainly compete on military and related technologies, which have now spread to cyberspace. Although there are several incentives for governments and individuals to conduct cyberattacks, the most significant are political and economic ones. The United States of America has polarized the world and its regions through its hegemonic policies and intimidation. Countries around the globe, including Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea, have confronted the US in cyberspace, and the regional situation is similar. For example, in the Middle East, apart from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, Israel and Saudi Arabia are confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran by launching cyberattacks on each other. North and South Korea have an intense rivalry and animosity on the Korean peninsula, heightening the specter of mutual cyberattacks. There are also tensions in the Indian subcontinent due to India and Pakistan's intense rivalry, which periodically target each other with cyberattacks. The United States and many Latin American countries wage cyberattacks against Venezuela in the Americas. Such a complicated and problematic international status quo portends a disastrous future for international security and peace. Using a descriptive-analytical method, this study seeks to determine the necessity of interstate cooperation in strengthening cybersecurity. The absolute dependency of life on cyber technology has resulted in state abuse in the form of cyberattacks on countries' key infrastructures. Therefore, interstate cooperation is required to strengthen international cybersecurity.



This study is carried out using a descriptive-analytical approach.



This study explains why governments should work together to improve cybersecurity. The first reason is the increasing adoption of computers and information technology. Given its benefits, there is a growing base of computer and information technology users. The Internet has become a part of daily life, which has become dependent on computers and the Internet's functions. All governmental and non-governmental organizations are connected to this network, and without it, the current human civilizations cannot survive. Such widespread adoption of the Internet is also dangerous to human civilization, as exhibited by the numerous cybercrimes happening worldwide. The second reason is the growing number of cyber powers in the world. A new report by Harvard University ranks the United States of America, China, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Australia as the world's top ten cyber powers, respectively. The state of Israel is ranked 11th, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ranked 23rd, and Saudi Arabia is ranked 26th. The report suggests that the number of cyber powers worldwide is increasing daily. The third reason is the rise of cyber-attacks. The transfer of activities, businesses, and information storage to the Internet has increased Internet abuse and data theft, creating an insecure environment for information exchange. Countries tend to use cyber-attacks due to their lower cost than conventional weapons. The fourth reason is the lack of clear rules for cybersecurity. Currently, the leading international cybersecurity treaties are the 2001 Convention on Cybercrime and its 2006 Additional Protocol and the Agreement on Cooperation in Ensuring International Information Security between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These two treaties are weakened by the few member states and territorial limitations. After explaining the reasons for intergovernmental cooperation, government strategies for strengthening cybersecurity have been discussed.



The first strategy is intergovernmental cooperation, the second is a global division of labor, the third is strategic reforms to the security concept, and the fourth is to improve international liability laws.

In terms of the responsibility of governments in cyberspace, strengthening international cybersecurity calls for more attention to the international commitment of countries from whence cyberattacks originate. Governments should thus exercise due diligence against cyberattacks in an international treaty. This criterion means exercising due diligence in carrying out legal obligations and strips countries of the right to use or allow the use of their territory to damage another state’s land, property, or persons. This, and basing accountability on due diligence of source countries, will decrease the number of global cyberattacks and bolster international cybersecurity.


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