Cybersecurity Capacity Building: Cross-National Benefits and International Divides

Paper accepted for presentation at the TPRC48, Washington DC, Forthcoming

TPRC48: The 48th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy

34 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020 Last revised: 15 Dec 2020

See all articles by Sadie Creese

Sadie Creese

University of Oxford

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California; GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science

Ruth Shillair

Michigan State University, Department of Media & Information

Date Written: July 22, 2020

Abstract

The growing centrality of cyber-security has led many governments and international organizations to focus on building the capacity of nations to withstand threats to the online security of the public and its digital resources. These initiatives entail a range of actions that vary from education and training, to technology and related standards, as well as new legal and policy frameworks. While efforts to proactively address security problems are intuitively valuable, there is a lack of evidence on whether they achieve their intended objectives. This paper takes a cross-national comparative approach to determining whether there is empirical support for investing in capacity building. Marshalling field research from 73 nations, the comparative data analysis:

1) describes the status of capacity building across the nations;

2) determines the impact of capacity building when controlling for other key contextual variables that might provide alternative explanations for key outcomes; and

3) explores the factors that are shaping national advances in capacity building.

The analysis underscores a relatively low, formative status of cyber-security capacity in most of the nations studied, but also shows that relatively higher levels of maturity translate into positive outcomes for nations. The analysis also reveals a capacity divide between countries based on income levels, that reinforces economic divides. The study provides empirical support to international efforts aimed at building cyber-security capacity, and mitigating gaps based on the wealth of nations.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, Policy, Capacity, Internet, Divides, End Users

Suggested Citation

Creese, Sadie and Dutton, William H. and Esteve-Gonzalez, Patricia and Shillair, Ruth, Cybersecurity Capacity Building: Cross-National Benefits and International Divides (July 22, 2020). Paper accepted for presentation at the TPRC48, Washington DC, Forthcoming, TPRC48: The 48th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3658350 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3658350

Sadie Creese

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

William H. Dutton (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

3502 Watt Way #304
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Computer Science
Robert Hooke Bldg 010
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PR
United Kingdom

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Wolfson Building, Parks Road
Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/patricia.esteve-gonzalez/

Ruth Shillair

Michigan State University, Department of Media & Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts & Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States

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