Cyber security

Cyber security world map

In cyber space the limits of state sovereignty are increasingly tested and contested by emergent threats to government agencies, services, financial systems, critical infrastructure and democratic processes.

The National Security College’s cyber security research addresses the current and future governance challenges associated with Australia’s digital architecture. Our international and interdisciplinary research program provides an enhanced understanding of the strategic security challenges of cyberspace as a new domain of human activity, in which state and non-state actors interact with each other.

The program creates an integrated conceptual, analytical and computational modelling framework that aims to assist current and future policymakers to explore risks and opportunities arising from the digital revolution and consider the broader impacts of cyberspace on Australia’s national security and interests. It also allows scholars from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences to work together to create and test hypotheses about security in the cyber age.

Our growing hub of experts is exploring forward-looking global research that is geared to Australia’s growing social, political and economic interests in cyber space. We provide an interactive and hands-on environment in which policy makers can road-test new policy ideas in the field of cyber security.

On this theme the NSC’s research addresses multiple topics, including:

  • how hostile foreign actors use cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns to challenge democracies
  • democratic resilience in the face of countering such threats
  • the governance of cyberspace, treaties and cyber norms: establishing transnational partnerships in tackling common cyber threats
  • understanding the modes of attribution and/or deterrence of cyber threats and anticipating the range of cyber weapons and defences that are likely to emerge
  • how non-state actors leverage cyberspace as a force-multiplier, a vector of attack or exploitation, or a means of political communication.

Current projects include Foreign Interference and Cyber war (Defence Strategic Policy Grant), and Tracking Disinformation Across Terrains with computer scientist Dr. Marian-Andrei Rizoiu at UTS (ANU Policy Greenhouse Grant).

Principal Investigators

Jennifer Hunt specialises in the national security of critical systems including energy and cyber.

Adam Henschke is an applied ethicist, working on areas that cross over between ethics, technology and security.

Matthew Sussex main research specialisation is on Russian foreign and security policy. He is particularly interested in contemporary trends in violent conflict, especially in ‘hybrid’ warfare and the evolution of propaganda.

Michael Clarke is an internationally recognised expert on the history and politics of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese foreign policy in Central Asia, Central Asian geopolitics, and nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation.

Australian Government logo
‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 October 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator