Welcome to Cybears

Welcome to Cybears. We are Chris Hoofnagle and Jennifer Urban. We teach cybersecurity law and policy and we’re working on a project to organize cybersecurity resources on the Berkeley campus for students and alumni who are interested in this fascinating field. Our FAQ entries below are part of our first steps in our cybersecurity endeavor.

So you’re interested in studying or pursuing a career in cybersecurity and privacy?

That’s great. Berkeley has fantastic resources for your intellectual journey and career. This FAQ offers three pieces of high-level advice, and links to many resources and ideas.  First, keep in mind that “cybersecurity” is a relatively ill-defined and quickly changing field. This means that you’ll have to  think creatively in order to best develop your … Continue Reading »

What is cybersecurity?

Everyone now has a stake in the healthy functioning of communications and control networks, in the devices and services dependent on these networks, and by implication, in all the complicated infrastructure required to keep networks, devices, and services operating. There is no simple answer to the question of what cybersecurity is. This is because both … Continue Reading »

What are the ethics of cybersecurity?

Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics has done excellent work in explaining ethical frameworks and applying those frameworks to cybersecurity. We suggest that you start with a grounding in ethics itself. The Markkula Center’s Framework for Ethical Decision Making explains what ethics is, what it is not, and provides several methods one could … Continue Reading »

What scholarships are available?

There are many scholarships in the cybersecurity field. Here are some starting points: The Computing Research Association provides Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (ISC)2 Women’s Scholarship  (ISC)2 Undergraduate Scholarship (ISC)2 Graduate Scholarship ESET Women in Cyber Technology Scholarship Department of Defense SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program For I School students, the Curtis Smith Scholarship

How can I find externships and internships?

In addition to the standard tools provided by your career services department, we recommend a direct-approach strategy. That is, if you find a cybersecurity company that deeply interests you, directly approach them and ask about opportunities. Many startups and smaller companies are too busy to run formal externship programs. They’ll be delighted to hear from … Continue Reading »

What campus groups are involved in cybersecurity?

Because security touches so many disciplines, you’ll find student and faculty groups in a range of departments active on cybersecurity. The best place to start is the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC). Established in 2015, CLTC is a research and collaboration hub in the School of Information. CLTC funds research, hosts speakers and conferences, and … Continue Reading »

How can I become familiar with the academic literature in cybersecurity?

The academic literature in cybersecurity is vast because it can be found in so many disciplines, from law to computer science to international relations and economics. Here are some starting points: First, searching for “cybersecurity” might be too narrow. You may need to use terms such as “privacy.” For searching the legal field, the SSRN … Continue Reading »

Are there non-Berkeley skills tools available to me?

There are many options available for technical training. Here are a few suggestions. Jetbrains offers free access to its coding and other teaching modules to those who have a university email account. The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) provides free online cybersecurity training to U.S. government employees, Federal contractors, and veterans. There are free courses … Continue Reading »

I want to develop a few/improve my technical skills. What should I focus on?

Work in privacy and cybersecurity can result in many different responsibilities–from leadership to compliance, to a focus on particular hardware or software. One cannot predict these responsibilities and so we recommend that you focus on basic skills that have utility in almost any environment. It’s important to know that colleges and universities don’t typically teach … Continue Reading »

What podcasts focus on cybersecurity?

Many podcasts cover cybersecurity. Some of our favorites are Darknet Diaries, Steptoe’s Cyberlaw podcast, Cyber from the Start by CSIS:, CSIS Cybersecurity and Technology, Beers with Talos, Rational Security, Privacy, Security & OSINT Show, and Berkeley Technology Law Journal (student podcast).

What research and grant funding is available?

As a member of the Berkeley community, you can access ProQuest Pivot, which we have found to be the most comprehensive, one-stop-shop for finding funding.  Closer to home, remember that the CLTC (Cal Cybersecurity Research Fellowship, Annual RFP), CTSP (CTSP Research Fellows) and UC Berkeley Big Ideas Contest are regular supporters of research here.

How can I get involved with a public-private cybersecurity partnership?

If you work in a security role in the private sector, particularly if you work in one of the 17 areas designated as critical infrastructure, you can join one of the many public-private cybersecurity partnerships. These partnerships are a key place where knowledge transfer happens in cybersecurity. Many of these groups are coordinated by law … Continue Reading »

How can I network in cybersecurity in the Bay Area?

WISP: Women in Security & Privacy has many Berkeley alumna and provides meaningful mentoring opportunities and interesting programming The Mozilla Foundation has a major commitment to privacy and security of its users, and sponsors a mailing list of privacy events. The Bay Area chapter of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) organizes meetups. SF … Continue Reading »

What websites should I check out?

There are so many. Here are just a few of our favorites that have a focus on policy: Lawfare, Just Security, Krebs on Security, CSO Online, and Schneier on Security.

I’m new to cybersecurity. What should I read and listen to?

Peter W. Singer and Allan Friedman’s Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, is a great place to start. Although already a bit dated, the National Academies’ report At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy explains why cybersecurity is important, why it is a wicked problem, and the public policy issues in cybersecurity. … Continue Reading »