Decision support model for effects estimation and proportionality assessment for targeting in cyber operations

C. Maathuis*, W. Pieters, J. van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
167 Downloads (Pure)


Cyber operations are relatively a new phenomenon of the last two decades. During that period, they have increased in number, complexity, and agility, while their design and development have been processes well kept under secrecy. As a consequence, limited data(sets) regarding these incidents are available. Although various academic and practitioner public communities addressed some of the key points and dilemmas that surround cyber operations (such as attack, target identification and selection, and collateral damage), still methodologies and models are needed in order to plan, execute, and assess them in a responsibly and legally compliant way. Based on these facts, it is the aim of this article to propose a model that i)) estimates and classifies the effects of cyber operations, and ii) assesses proportionality in order to support targeting decisions in cyber operations. In order to do that, a multi-layered fuzzy model was designed and implemented by analysing real and virtual realistic cyber operations combined with interviews and focus groups with technical – military experts. The proposed model was evaluated on two cyber operations use cases in a focus group with four technical – military experts. Both the design and the results of the evaluation are revealed in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-374
Number of pages23
JournalDefence Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cyber operations
  • Cyber warfare
  • Cyber weapons
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Targeting


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