6 Items

Cables connected to server racks at a data center in Switzerland.

AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Martial Trezzini

Analysis & Opinions

How to Win the Battle Over Data

| Sep. 17, 2019

It can be tough to craft regulations and national security policies for data and technology that do not fall afoul of democratic and capitalist values. A national information strategy can sound, or indeed become, Orwellian without the right political leadership. But to thrive in the twenty-first century, democracies must now put information at the center of domestic, security, and foreign policy.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Geopolitics of Information

| May 28, 2019

To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ending the Cybersecurity Arms Race

| February 2018

Network security has always been something of balancing act between maximizing sharing and ease of use, and erecting barriers.

When computer networks first emerged, there were few limitations on what could be transmitted over them. However, after the world’s first major network computer security incident—the Morris Worm of 1988—organizations began to retreat behind network-level firewalls and anti-virus software. Some defenders even tried to completely disconnect their networks from the outside world via “air gaps.”

This paper argues that it is time to move beyond the security paradigm of separating networks, as epitomized by the air gap. Instead, network defenders should embrace an approach which allows sharing and connectedness, anticipates that adversaries will penetrate the network, and is able to detect, and ultimately eject those adversaries before they can do harm.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Framework for Cybersecurity

| December 2018

In this paper, we propose a way of thinking about cybersecurity that unifies the various forms of attack. The framework is two-dimensional, looking at both the goal of the attack and the mechanism for launching the attack. The first dimension looks at the goal of the attack by using the common “CIA” triad to categorize the target—that is, whether the attack affects a system’s confidentiality, integrity, or availability (CIA). The second dimension is unique to our knowledge and differentiates attacks based on how the attacks obtain a thread of control.

An attendee shoots a photo on a cell phone of Democratic U.S vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine speaking as he appears with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign rally in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016.

REUTERS/Scott Audette

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Can Democracy Survive in the Information Age?

| October 2018

Democracy is built on the crucial compact that citizens will have access to reliable information and can use that information to participate in government, civic, and corporate decision-making. The technologies of the Information Age were largely built on the assumption that they would strengthen this compact. However, as typified by Russia’s ongoing use of information operations against the United States and Europe, key information technologies have evolved quickly over the past five years and been weaponized against democracies. 

A cell tower over Perth, Australia, January 4, 2014. (Flickr User “Shari” / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Flickr User “Shari” / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Public Square in the Digital Age

| June 2018

This paper addresses the question: how should Australia respond to the rising threat of cyber-enabled interference operations? While its focus is Australia, its findings and recommendations are intended to be relevant to a global audience. Australia has already been something of a ‘canary in the coal mine’ in putting the issue of foreign interference on the global agenda. Its geostrategic position—as a democracy in the middle of the increasingly volatile Indo-Pacific region—is likely to ensure it remains on the leading edge of the CEI-OPS threat.