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November 19, 2009
4:15p.m. - 5:15p.m.

Building 32, Room G449

Organizational and Societal Resilience as a Cybersecurity Strategy

Prof. Chris Demchak
US Naval War College
Newport, RI

Host: Roger Hurwitz
Host Affiliation: CSAIL

The dilemmas of cybersecurity framed in Cold War state-state terms, in national police-criminal legal regimes, or even in anti-terrorism approaches do not correspond well to the emerging world of flexible scale, proximity, and precision underlying a wide range of conceivable forms of cybered conflict. This talk will discuss why an effective cybersecurity strategy requires the following three pillars: a more medievalist attitude to conflict today, a more knowledge-oriented approach to largescale complex systems and surprise, and a more deliberate and ubiquitous focus on resilience in organizations and the wide society rather than fighting, attacking, defending, or defeating hostile actors.

Dr. Chris C. Demchak received her PhD from Berkeley in political science with a focus on organization theory, security, and surprise in complex technical systems across nations. She also holds two masters degrees in economic development (Princeton) and energy engineering (Berkeley). She has published numerous articles on societal security difficulties with largescale information systems to include cyberwar and cyber privacy (“theory of action”, “BIK behavior-based privacy”), security institutions (CT “Knowledge Nexus”) and new military models (“Atrium model” for joint forces), as well as a book entitled Military Organizations Complex Machines in the Cornell Security Studies series. An early member of the new Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI) research field, Dr. Demchak has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on comparative security and modernized organizations, the institutional history of war and the state, the emerging global information systems, the worldwide diffusion of defense technologies, and the use of game-based simulations in security analysis. A former US Army Reserve officer, Dr. Demchak has recently completed a book length manuscript entitled Wars of Disruption: Resilience in a World of Chronic Violent Grey Threats now under review at a major academic press, as well as co-editing a forthcoming volume of research on resilience development in societies. Dr. Demchak moved to take a position with the Strategic Research Department of the US Naval War College in July 2009. Her research focus will be the evolution in organizations, tools, social integrations, and range of choices emerging in westernized nations’ cybersecurity/deterrence strategies and experiences with assaults.

This talk is part of the series “Cyber International Relations,” sponsored by the joint Harvard-MIT research project "Explorations in Cyber International Relations." The series will develop a multi-dimensional view of international conflict and cooperation within and regarding cyber space.

Attendance is free - no need to register. For more information contact Roger Hurwitz, 617-258-5261,