Uncertainty is the greatest threat to peace, and that is why we need to have a doctrine of cybersecurity for the 21st century, according to Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of homeland security.
The consequences of attack are well-defined in the physical world, but they are poorly defined in the cyber world, he told the RSA Europe 2010 conference in London.
"We need clarity on how to respond to a variety of cyber-attacks so that everyone understands the rules of the game," he said.
According to Chertoff, setting the rules will help to deter attackers if there are clear consequences for their actions.
It will also help to prevent making any incidents worse by ensuring that any retaliation is in proportion to the original attack.
In this podcast, Chertoff explains how nation states could go about setting and agreeing international conventions on cybersecurity.