Stanford Cyber Initiative Tackles Pressing Issues in Cybersecurity, Governance, and the Future of Work

by Nicole Feldman,  Stanford News

In an interview, Stanford University professors Michael McFaul and Dan Boneh discuss the purpose of the Stanford Cyber Initiative, which they co-direct. McFaul says the initiative is part of a broader effort to define security, governance, and work policies as they evolve under the influence of new technologies, and to address the innate challenges. “We want to see more computer scientists interacting with social scientists, lawyers, and even philosophers, as there are many ethical and moral issues that need to be addressed,” McFaul notes.

Boneh says the initiative’s cybersecurity concentration has grown to include economic and work implications and election systems, in addition to computing technology. He also notes an interdisciplinary focus is essential, because “you cannot do policy without understanding technology and effective technology needs to understand the policy implications.” McFaul agrees and says this model extends to student education, as the university is grooming next-generation cybersecurity leaders.

McFaul says “there is growing demand for courses that cross disciplines to address the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity. We are training the next generation of leaders who will shape this field. Some of our new classes focus on cybersecurity and the law, fake news, privacy policies, how algorithms affect human perception, Facebook’s foreign policy, and how technology affects elections. What’s striking to me is that we’re still in the early stages of incorporating cyber components into courses, curriculum and degrees.”  Read the full article.

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