The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

David C. Benson - United States Air Force

Students: Spring 2023, unless noted otherwise, sessions will be virtual on Zoom.

Stop Selling Cybersecurity Short!: Cybersecurity as a Component of National Power

Oct 12, 2022

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Often, policy makers and cybersecurity professionals talk about cybersecurity as if cybersecurity is only important insofar as it benefits or protects other assets or values. For example, it is common to hear people argue that cybersecurity is important because of its role in economic growth, or potential damage military operations. Those arguments are not wrong, but they fail to understand national power, and consequently grossly understate cybersecurity's importance in international politics. Information is a component of national power all on its own, and cybersecurity is an important part of that component. Properly situating information as a component of national power, and cybersecurity in its appropriate place within information will better inform policy and practice. Informational considerations should hold equal weight in national policy, and not be subordinated military or economic concerns. As a component of information power, cybersecurity operates alongside other components of information power, and should cooperate with, and learn from those components of informational power.

About the Speaker

David C. Benson
David Benson is currently a Professor of Security and Strategic Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) at Air University, Montgomery, AL. His research and instruction focuses on international relations and information, especially how the internet and information technology affects great power politics. His publications include "Why the Internet is not Increasing Terrorism," "Cyber-balancing not Cyber-War," and "Mahan and Corbett will not Inform War with China." David graduated from the University of Chicago, and held a post-doctoral appointment at Southern Methodist University. David served six years in the US Army, first as a Chinese-Mandarin linguist and then as an infantry officer. After completing a tour in Iraq, David worked with JIEDDO-COIC to develop and teach counter-insurgency strategy.

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