Cybersecurity, risk and resilience: researchers and lawmakers convene in Oxford to explore critical challenges

In February 2020, the University – in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) – hosted a workshop for 25 parliamentarians from across the world. The sessions explored some of the world’s most complex cybersecurity threats – and how the latest research can inform and strengthen legislation, scrutiny, and MPs’ ability to rise to the familiar and emerging challenges in this fast-moving area.

It comes as Commonwealth countries seek to promote stability in cyberspace through international co-operation as part of their 2018 Commonwealth Cyber Declaration.

'The workshop aimed to broaden and deepen parliamentarians’ understanding of the different dimensions of cybersecurity. The participants engaged energetically in the programme and sought to relate the discussions to their own countries – including contemplating amendments to their existing cybersecurity legislation.' Jon Davies, Chief Executive of CPA UK.

As well as engaging delegates with cutting-edge research from across the departments of Computer Science, Politics and International Relations, the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Faculty of Law, the workshop exposed Oxford’s researchers to the varying cybersecurity experiences of different parliamentarians’ legislatures – each unique in their challenges, and in resources with which to address them.

In addition to presentations from senior academics and researchers, delegates also had the chance to hear from doctoral students from Oxford’s Cybersecurity Doctoral Training programme as they presented snapshots of the very latest technical, social, legal and political dimensions of new cybersecurity research.

The workshop formed part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK’s three-day ‘Cybersecurity Workshop 2020’, which spanned engagement in Westminster and Oxford in collaboration with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Justice. Oxford University’s Policy Engagement team facilitates engagement opportunities for Oxford researchers with policymakers.

Read the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK's Cybersecurity Workshop Official Report