Thinking Forward Archives

by Rob Simmons, Peter Sheingold, and Chris Folk

The homeland security mission space is one where the boundaries between cyber, physical, and human are increasingly blurring. There is a greater awareness that the gap between cyber and physical is shrinking, but we must also consider the impact of cyber and physical effects on people and society. This series of articles will use the term CyberPhysicalHuman to denote the progressively blurring lines among them.

Some parts of the CyberPhysicalHuman world already exist today. This helps us start to describe the broad contours of a future CyberPhysicalHuman world. However, society has barely begun to identify, let alone understand, all of the opportunities and risks that will emerge from an environment in which almost anything can be connected to anything. Even though we don't have all the answers, this series was inspired by the premise that society must begin to consider how to address security in this CyberPhysicalHuman world so that we can all enjoy its benefits.

In the spirit of "you have to start somewhere," this series of articles draws upon some lessons learned that we believe are also applicable to CyberPhysicalHuman security challenges. We will look at the CyberPhysicalHuman world from three perspectives: convergence, risk, and resilience.

  • In our discussion of convergence, we will explore how evolving technologies and threats are blurring the lines between cyber, physical, and human, leading to greater possibility that humans will be harmed and a greater need to "design in" security.
  • In our discussion of risk, we will explore how to think about and manage risk in the CyberPhysicalHuman world. In an environment where interconnections and vulnerabilities will be limitless, security investments should be based on a clear understanding of what is most important to protect and the associated threats.
  • In our discussion of resilience, we will encourage companies and organizations to explore approaches that strengthen their ability to collaborate across sectors. We will also explore how this collaboration can be strengthened by information sharing that leads to tailored security approaches and identification of new insights.

We recognize that the topics of convergence, risk, and resilience are far broader than can possibly be covered in a series of short articles. We also recognize that some people and organizations have started to study issues relevant to CyberPhysicalHuman security. Our hope is that these articles promote further discussion and engagement about new approaches to address security risks associated with the CyberPhysicalHuman world.

A natural place to begin a discussion of the CyberPhysicalHuman world is convergence. Our next article will start with a recent history of convergence.

This post launches a series that will look at the CyberPhysicalHuman world from three perspectives: convergence, risk and resilience:

  1. The CyberPhysicalHuman World of Homeland Security
  2. Convergence: A Recent History
  3. Risk: Focus On Your Main Thing(s)
  4. Applying Ancient Wisdom to Help Manage Modern Risks
  5. Resilience Is a Team Sport
  6. Resilience, Moving Beyond Sectors
  7. Enabling Effective Collaboration with Shared Threat Information
  8. Wrapping It Up and Moving Forward
  9. Coming Closer and Closer to You
  10. More Ancient Wisdom for Today's CyberPhysicalHuman World
  11. There is No One-Size Fits All Approach to the CyberPhysicalHuman World