This course explores the most important “wrapping” elements beyond technology that shape the playing field on which cybersecurity problems emerge and are managed. Students will be encouraged to adopt different lenses — legal, economic, political economy, and ethical — to better understand how different forces enable and constrain security technologies and policies. Cybersecurity is at its core a technical discipline. But as digital technologies penetrate deeply into almost every aspect of human experience, a broad range of social-political-economic-legal-ethical-military and other non-technical considerations have come to envelop the cybersecurity landscape.
Cybersecurity in Context introduces some of the most important macro-elements (such as national security considerations and the interests of nation-states) and micro-elements (such as behavioral economic insights into how people understand and interact with security features). Specific topics include policymaking (on the national, international, and organizational level), business models, legal frameworks (including issues of privacy, evidentiary standards, and restrictions on attacks), national security considerations, ethical issues, standards making, and the roles of users, government, and industry.