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Research and Projects

Addressing Systemic Cyber Issues

Research that shapes conversations, strategies, and policies

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Project on Cyber Risks to Financial Stability

The Project on Cyber Risk to Financial Stability, led jointly by the Program on the Future Cyber Risks and the Initiative on Central Banking and Financial Policy has worked to foster dialogue between experts in academia, industry, and government at the intersection of cybersecurity and financial stability to strengthen resilience in the financial industry.

The project's first paper, "The Future of Financial Stability and Cyber Risk", provides a general review of cyber risk to financial stability, contains a primer on financial stability and cyber risks, and highlights how cyber risks are different from other systemic financial risks. It also summarizes previous reports and efforts of policymakers and industry addressing these issues. 

The second paper, "The Ties That Bind: A Framework to Assess the Linkage Between Cyber Risks and Financial Stability", developed a unique framework to assist analysts trying to assess how specific cyber risks might affect financial stability. 

The third paper, "An Atlas of Data Sources on Cyber Risk: Understanding Cyber Impact on Financial Stability" creates an atlas using existing data and information systems that can be used to gain a holistic understanding of how current cyber threat levels can impact financial stability.

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Russia-Ukraine Cyber Conflict Tracker

Tracking malicious cyber operations in the Russo-Ukraine war

In partnership with the Army Cyber Institute, the Russia-Ukraine Cyber Conflict Tracker monitors and analyzes malicious cyber activity related to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

What is the role of cyber operations in modern warfare?

This project, led by Erica Lonergan, aims to provide an empirical basis to evaluate the evolving nature of cyber conflict in a warfighting context. This project continuously tracks the cyber landscape in the context of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, enabling researchers to gain insights into patterns of cyber incidents in the context of this conflict. Our project focuses on collecting data to help identify and explore potential relationships between activities in cyberspace and the broader dynamics of the conflict.

It does so with several objectives:

  • Tracking Cyber Operations: Building a database of cyber operations throughout the conflict by country involved in the conflict.
  • Understanding Correlation: Providing a holistic insight into how cyber operations impact and are impacted by the ongoing military activities.
  • Analyzing Malicious Activities: Assessing variation in the nature of cyber incidents by type, targets, and ultimate outcomes.

CYsyphus: Policy Decision-Support Tool

CYsyphus facilitates the discovery of past wisdom to avoid repetition and enable leapfrogging to new insights and recommendations in support of policymakers, congressional staffers, journalists, and students.

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The Problem

For years, governments, private industry, think tanks and universities have issued thousands of recommendations for better cybersecurity. Much like Sisyphus, new task forces are assembled only to ignore the past and roll the boulder up the hill again.

The Solution - Storing and Finding Past Cyber Recommendations

The cybersecurity community must develop longer memories. This requires a comprehensive collection, review, and organization of existing recommendations into a new decision-support system. This will make the lessons of the past more searchable for faster, more effective cyber policy decision-making. The primary product of CYsyphus is an interactive, publicly accessible decision support tool that allows front-end users to search and filter for existing cyber policy recommendations. As a secondary product, CYsyphus will allow researchers access to the full database as well as the collected metrics derived from the collective use of the decision support tool (e.g., keyword frequency, time development, policy gaps, filter options). This back-end analysis leverages the understanding of policy research and formulation and lays the groundwork for an intellectual framework to guide metrics for measuring policy success. With the long-term vision to capture and code every cybersecurity recommendation made in the English language, the decision-support tool aims to reduce, by an order of magnitude, the amount of time it takes to ideate and create policy-relevant recommendations.


  • Executive branch decision-makers and their staff can create new cybersecurity policies, as researchers and analysts can pull relevant recommendations and draft policy memos to help guide new policies.
  • Legislators and their staff can easily reference past recommendations, gauge progress or source ideas for new legislation to position members on emerging issues.
  • Cyber Security Researchers gain access to a rich history of public policy on a critical issue underpinning national security, as well as the digital economy and society.
  • Industry may access information about recommendations pertaining to supply chain, third-party risk, and other systemic issues for setting internal policies and cyber security standards.
  • Others, including journalists, students, and presidential campaigns.

Learn more about CYsyphus

Further Research

Past Federal cyber efforts have failed because there has never been a simple, unifying strategy. Just as the Cold War strategy was simple (containment), as was the Army’s COIN strategy (roughly, to win hearts and minds), the US cyber strategy should be to get defense the advantage over offense.

A unique dataset of over 100 cases of defensive operational disruption over the last 30 years, from 1987 until 2020. The underlying paper by Healey, Jenkins and Work also provides a framework for categorizing disruption operations and their effects – along with detailed descriptions for several of these case studies coded to the framework – so that researchers and practitioners can measure their impact using a common terminology.

A team of SIPA students and alumni worked with SIPA Senior Research Scholar John Batelle to develop an interactive visualization that helps users understand how large technology companies collect, use, and share user information across the internet.

A Fragmented Internet? collects the proceedings of the 2017 edition of the Global Digital Futures Forum including background papers from experts covering the effect of fragmentation upon global governance, international trade, trust and assurance, global platforms and international development, cyber conflict and democracy, the digital economy, and financial systemic risk.

In November 2016, Jason Healey published a report based on research conducted over the past six months with a class of graduate students on how the U.S. Government manages vulnerabilities through the Vulnerability Equities Process.

In November 2016, Laura DeNardis, Gordon Goldstein and David A. Gross published a working paper presenting the historical perspective of internet governance as a conflict between two incommensurable visions for the internet.

This academic work was undertaken with the vital support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of SIPA’s Tech & Policy Initiative, an ambitious effort to explore the intersection of the digital world and SIPA’s core fields of study.

This academic work was undertaken with the vital support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of SIPA’s Tech & Policy Initiative, an ambitious effort to explore the intersection of the digital world and SIPA’s core fields of study.

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