The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Debora Plunkett was a Senior Fellow with the Belfer Center's Cyber Project. Previously, she was a Senior Fellow with the Center's Defending Digital Democracy Project.
Plunkett is a cybersecurity leader with more than 30 years of experience. Culminating a career of U.S. federal service in 2016, she currently is Principal of Plunkett Associates LLC, a cybersecurity consulting business. Additionally, she serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College Graduate School in the Cybersecurity program. She also serves on several corporate boards.
Previously, Ms. Plunkett served first as the Deputy Director and thereafter for over four years as the Director of the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate. Her efforts enabled continuous innovation and development of strong security solutions and policies for the protection of the classified communications of the United States government, serving the needs of a wide range of consumers from the White House to the war fighter.Last Updated: