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Securing a cyber future

As our lives our increasing reliant upon cyber there is a ever pressing need to confront the moral, ethical, and perhaps existential, challenges of the virtual world and its vulnerabilities. Cyber has transformed the human relationship to information, and is beginning to transform every facet of our societies, economies and cultures.

As we contemplate the place of humanity in cyber and as we consider the shape of future societies it becomes ever more apparent that our conventional ways of thinking about computers, computer systems and cyber are insufficient if not redundant. Cyber security will never again be reducible to defensive countermeasures applied to arbitrarily delineated computer networks. We need new ways of thinking about cyber and its resilience.

Last week, Professor Jon Coaffee participated in an International panel Discussion ‘Sustainable Futures: Cyber, Cities and Security’ in Washington DC. The event was hosted at the British Embassy as part of the University’s Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority and was attended by a number of high profile panelists from the field of cyber security.

The event had two purposes. Firstly, it was designed to challenge the existing beliefs and methods of cyber security. Secondly it explored how the US and the UK can better work together to address the challenges and opportunities offered by of our increasingly cyber connected environment.

Afterwards, Professor Coaffee commented,

“This was a extremely productive event. Our discussions demonstrated that there is a critical need to understand both the technical requirements and the social acceptance needs in order to develop a proportional response to cyber attacks.”

Ongoing work within the Resilient Cities Laboratory will continue to engage with this dynamic agenda.