News - Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center

Cyber Security

| March 5, 2013

Defense and Intelligence Projects Podcast


How do we balance offensive cyber capabilities and cybersecurity? Dr. Ellis discusses the challenges of meshing the development of offensive cyber capabilities with the need to protect critical infrastructure. In his research, Dr. Ellis considers the tension that emerges between the twin aims of "cyber offense" and "cyber defense." In discussion with Kevin Ryan, Dr. Ellis provides an introduction to the complex challenges surrounding vulnerability disclosure and shares his thoughts on the recent Executive Order on cybersecurity. Vulnerabilities are both important resources that can provide the foundation for offensive cyber capabilities and, at the same time, flaws that leave software exposed to harm. In some cases, fixing a flaw might neuter an offensive capability; conversely preserving an offensive capability might entail preserving a vulnerability. Dr. Ellis raises an interesting question: Does the pursuit of offensive cyber capabilities undermine domestic security? The conversation highlights a growing area of concern and ongoing debate.

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For Academic Citation: Ellis, Ryan. “Cyber Security.” News, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center, March 5, 2013.