How Iran's Cyber Game Plan Reflects Its Asymmetrical War Strategy

Dec 18, 2018 | 10:00 GMT

Iranian cyber operations will continue to pose a threat to companies and organizations in the Middle East and beyond during 2019.

While a U.S.-Iranian cyberwar remains unlikely, lower-level attacks by Tehran against government and private companies and organizations are likely to increase.

(Shutterstock images)


  • In response to sanctions and other measures taken by the United States, Iran will look to retaliate in cyberspace.
  • Iran's strategy on the use of physical force provides a gauge of how it will employ cyberattacks. 
  • Iran will pursue asymmetrical operations instead of a full-on cyberwar, using proxies and sending subtle messages about U.S. vulnerabilities.

As discord between the United States and Iran continue to rise in 2019, Tehran will reach deeper into its bag of deadly tricks to counter pressure from Washington. While the huge imbalance of power will restrain Iran from engaging in direct military conflict with the United States and its allies, it will retaliate with its asymmetrical arsenal. These weapons include cyberattacks, terrorism and support for its regional militant allies, and they pose a threat to companies and organizations in the Middle East and beyond. But what is most notable is how Iran's strategy for handling conflict in cyberspace mirrors its game plan for physical clashes....

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