Understanding Cybersecurity

Listen to the full panel on the World Affairs Council website

Cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors is of increasing importance and growing concern, yet it is largely misunderstood. For many it is synonymous with identity thieves and hackers trying to gain access to government secrets or personal files; however these concerns do not take into account offensive cyber operations taken by governments, the susceptibility of electric grids or financial systems, and potential threats to future networks i.e. for driverless cars. Recent revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency’s worldwide cyber-surveillance operations led Microsoft’s general counsel to write that “government snooping potentially now constitutes an advanced persistent threat, alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.” What is the scope of the threat to our security in cyberspace? How transparent should actors (states or companies) have to be about their cyber practices, both offensive and defensive? How can we protect our vital infrastructure? What are cyber "best practices"? Which policies should guide behavior of the US government in cyberspace? And, what might the future of cybersecurity look like?


Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School

Herb Lin, Chief Scientist, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, The National Academies


Andrew Woods, Cybersecurity Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Insitute for International Studies at Stanford University

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