The rise of companies in the cyber era and the pursuant shift in national security

Udi Sommer*, Eviatar Matania, Nir Hassid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the cyber era ushers in a new realitynationally and internationally, national security is transformed aswell. We aim to theorise the several levels at which that changesunfolds. First, we explain how the unique features andcharacteristics of the cyber domain are different from how nationalsecurity had been traditionally conceptualised. Second, we delve intohow the very nature of national security changed. Third, weinvestigate a critical difference: the key role of companies in thecyber domain, a role that is unprecedented quantitatively orqualitatively in the physical domains. In the cyber realm, states useprivate companies and organisations to build the edifice of nationaldefence. Governments use companies for a large portion of their cyberoperations and digitally-based services. With such concentration ofinformation in their hands companies serve many of the functionstraditionally handled by governments, even in national security,which is normally considered a public good. The case of Meta in the2022 War in Ukraine provides a plethora of empirical evidence inaddition to evidence from WannaCry, Stuxnet and SingHealth. Finally,we discuss possible future trajectories for national security as thedigital domain further pervades all aspects of life, politics andinternational relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-164
Number of pages25
JournalPolitical Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • 2022 war in Ukraine
  • Facebook
  • Meta
  • National security
  • SingHealth
  • Stuxnet
  • cyber domain
  • cyber era
  • cyber security
  • cyberspace
  • democracy
  • freedom of speech
  • wannaCry


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