CyberSec Social

CyberSec Social is a startup nonprofit created to engage in research and development in the fields of cyber criminology and social cybersecurity. ​CyberSec Social works in collaboration with academic and business partners. 

Social cybersecurity is focused on the human aspects of cybersecurity and how the cyberactivity of individuals and groups is influenced by psychological and sociological factors. In addition to leveraging the social sciences, social cybersecurity also utilizes fields such as data science and digital forensics.

Lt. Col. David M. Beskow, U.S. Army and Kathleen M. Carley, PhD describe social cybersecurity: "Traditional cybersecurity involves humans using technology to “hack” technology. The target is information systems. Social cybersecurity involves humans using technology to “hack” other humans." Read their analysis in the US Army's Military Review:

Social cybersecurity is an emerging subdomain of national security that will affect all levels of future warfare, both conventional and unconventional, with strategic consequences. Social cybersecurity “is an emerging scientific area focused on the science to characterize, understand, and forecast cyber-mediated changes in human behavior, social, cultural, and political outcomes, and to build the cyber-infrastructure needed for society to persist in its essential character in a cyber-mediated information environment under changing conditions, actual or imminent social cyber-threats.”1 Technology today is enabling both state and nonstate actors to manipulate the global marketplace of beliefs and ideas at the speed of algorithms, and this is changing the battlefield at all levels of war.

While recently viewed through the lens of “hybrid” warfare, information warfare is becoming an end unto itself. Dmitry Kiselev, coordinator of the Russian state agency for international news, states that “information wars are … the main type of war.”2 Information is used to strengthen your narrative while attacking, disrupting, distorting, and dividing the society, culture, and values of other competing states and organizations. By weakening trust in national institutions, consensus on national values, and commitment to those values across the international community, an actor can win the next war before it has even begun. In fact, reflecting the change from periodic conflict to continual competition, senior leaders in the Russian General Staff have claimed, “Wars are not declared but have already begun.”3

Information is strengthening its position within the elements of national power. Strategy is often viewed through the elements of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic. Technology now allows state and nonstate actors to extend their power in the information domain at a scale and complexity long thought impossible. If left unchecked, this emerging “information blitzkrieg” will have strategic effects on par with the physical blitzkrieg unleashed at the outset of World War II...

Be sure to check out this Weapons of Influence video and for more information on Social Cybersecurity, visit the Center for Informed Democracy & Social - Cybersecurity (IDeaS) at Carnegie Mellon University.

Resources

Social Cybersecurity Working Group

Columbia university Data Science Institute

International Network for Social network analysis (Insna)

indiana university observatory on Social media

The Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis

berkman klein center for internet & society at harvard university

 

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