Grant / January 2020

Trust, Community, and the Production of Cybersecurity Professionals

There is a global shortfall in the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals required to fill critical roles in governments, industry, and society. Numerous education programs currently attempt to address this shortfall. However, the practice of cybersecurity requires more than just skills that can be learned in a classroom. We argue that the everyday practices of cybersecurity professionals depend upon coordination and collaboration with peers, enabled by trust relationships crossing corporate and state boundaries. We will conduct ethnographic research to examine how individuals learn the practice of network security and become trusted members of network security practitioner communities. Additionally, we will review current thinking in the pedagogy of network security. Our research will offer actionable recommendations towards: (1) improving institutions and policies that enable trust relationships amongst network security professionals to support more effective practices, and (2) integrating understandings of coordination and collaboration in the practice of network security into network security education.