11 June 2024

Interview – Myriam Dunn Cavelty

Where do you see the most exciting research/debates happening in your field?

Two distinct yet interconnected trends are particularly noteworthy in the field of cyber security research. Firstly, there is a surge of interest in integrating critical approaches from security studies into cyber security studies. This includes feminist perspectives, post-colonial lenses, innovative attempts to queer cyber security, and the application of Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspectives. In line with this, the use of ethnographic methodologies to study cyber security practices is unravelling some of the black boxes and myths surrounding the topic. The positive aspect of these developments is that these approaches, which focus on deconstructing traditional power structures, norms, and assumptions, help to make cyber security more accessible by lowering the perceived barriers to entry. I think this research shows that you do not need specialized technical knowledge to make important contributions.

Secondly, there is a compelling focus on scrutinizing the limits of cyber operations in a different segment of the field. In many ways, this continues work that criticized the “hype” around cyberspace and its game changing nature for national security in the 2000s. However, this time the critique is not from a securitization or discursive angle but more from a technological-material perspective, where the functioning of computing machines is at the centre of thought. Insights from the technically-oriented threat intelligence community have significantly enriched this understanding, fostering a more holistic comprehension of the evolving cyber conflict landscape. Overall, the convergence of diverse forms of knowledge facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations and paves the way for transdisciplinary explorations, which I believe are the future of cyber security research in many ways.

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