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IU professor authors book on cybersecurity and the search for 'cyber peace'

New book by IU professor examines cyber peace in a world of cyber attacks

A new book by an Indiana University business professor and cybersecurity expert examines the notion of cyber peace in a world where cyber attacks, both real and threatened, have become a pervasive part of life.

Scott J. Shackelford, an assistant professor of business law and ethics in the Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington, published "Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace" this month through the Cambridge University Press.

While the notion of hostile cyber tactics -- cyber warfare and cyber attacks, for example -- have been a mainstay of the popular press and scholarly publications for years, few works have examined the issue from the opposite perspective: What might "cyber peace" mean, and how might it be achieved?

Shackelford argues that the most effective way of developing a framework for the concept of "cyber peace'" might very well be through literature on polycentric governance, a concept that has been pioneered to some degree at Indiana University. While the lens of polycentric regulation has been used to view such other global issues as climate change, Shackelford uses it to reconsider best practices for managing the complex nature of cybersecurity and cyber attacks.

As the title implies, the book takes into account a host of different factors when examining the problems that could potentially render "cyber peace" impossible.

"I wanted to take a highly interdisciplinary approach looking at how we can leverage all kinds of stakeholders from technical communities to the private sector, national governments and, ultimately, the international community," Shackelford said.

Beyond that, “Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations” offers a range of cybersecurity best practices many will find useful in their everyday environment.

"From run-of-the-mill distributed denial of service attacks to advanced persistent threats, the book summarizes many cutting-edge techniques for defending all sizes of organizations," Shackelford said.

Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and chief information officer of Indiana University, said the book addresses an important issue and does so from a unique perspective.

"'Interdisciplinary' is often overused to the point of being meaningless, but Shackelford truly demonstrates the real value of practical, truly interdisciplinary thinking that is required to confront the escalating challenges of international cyber risks," Wheeler said. "Piecemeal approaches of only policy, technology or geography are inadequate to the challenge, and Shackelford's background and expertise shine through in timely and useful guidance for the many of us who deal with these challenges every day."

Richard A. Clarke, the former national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection, and counterterrorism for the United States, also offered praise for the book, saying that in a world focused on cyber war, Shackelford "offers a fresh route to achieve cyber peace."

"Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace" is available through most major online retailers. A companion website offers reviews of the book, discussion questions, and a trove of Shackelford’s academic research relating to cyber war and cyber peace.

Shackelford is a senior fellow with the IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and can be reached at or (812) 856-6728.

Source: IU News