About Us



The Monterey Institute launched the Cyber Security Initiative (MCySec) in May 2013 following a year’s worth of roundtable meetings. Our mission is to create an interdisciplinary platform to assess the impact of the information age on security, peace and communications. Housed in the Office of the President, we provide input and coordinate the Institute’s existing cyber efforts in multiple fields, create a collaborative community of interest, provide a forum for international, key-leader engagement as well as increase research and education on cyber security.

The Many Facets of Cyber

We seek to deepen MIIS’ existing efforts to address the relevance of technology in international affairs. This includes hard security, human security/development issues, irregular war, state and non-state actors, digital ethics, cross-cultural communication, social media, linguistics and language, business/economics, intelligence, homeland security, peace and stabilization efforts, environmental factors as well as other aspects. Though we are not predominantly addressing highly technical approaches or legal theory related to cyber, we do partner with those who do in order to provide a balanced effort. A brief survey of Monterey Institute’s faculty and staff highlights the complexity of cyber security and how it is being addressed.

Creating a Network to Secure a Network…

MCySec’s model is premised on the notion that building an international, inter-disciplinary network amongst key stakeholders provides a balanced voice on salient topics related to information. By partnering with multiple institutes locally, nationally and worldwide we aim to leverage the many strengths of various existing efforts to better address contemporary cyber threats and understand potential opportunities. In addition, we plan to host small, key-leader-engagement meetings on cutting edge topics in a Chatham House rules format to create a community of interest on various aspects of cyber policy. Finally, MCySec seeks to maximize its geographical location near Silicon Valley to better reflect the pulse of the local perspective as well as international voices. By doing so, we aim to inform policy makers from a bottom-up approach that can complement existing efforts. We have partnered with the Highlands Group to pave the way to fully developing a Highlands Forum model for academia.

Research and Education

As a continuation of the cyber security policy instruction at the Monterey Institute over the past several years, MCySec is coordinating courses and workshops this academic year that address the various aspects related to the information age. For instance, in fall 2013 Dr. George Moore, Senior Scientists at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) taught “Nuclear Aspects of Cyber Security.” Additionally, MCySec Director Dr. Itamara Lochard is offering “Non-state Actors in a Digital World” in Spring 2014. We also provide courses and workshops in GIS, cyber elements of money laundering, social network analysis, automated nuclear disarmament scenarios, among many others. Currently offered cyber-related courses for this semester are available here.

MCySec is also addressing education on cyber policy by increasing cooperation with Middlebury College and the Naval Postgraduate School on this topic. We are actively involved in the creation of academic curricula and coursework in the Balkans with our partners of the Military Academy of Macedonia who are developing an program that will benefit all countries in the region. These efforts have been supported by the NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division. We are also working with National Labs and our partners at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as well. In addition, Dr. Lochard continues to provide executive education, subject matter expertise and consulting to the NATO Center of Excellence Defense Against Terrorism (CoE-DAT) on how technology impacts counter-terrorism for the Alliance and countries in the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative programs. She still teaches the course she created at NATO CoE-DAT on “Terrorists’ Use of Cyber”, “Deterring Terrorists’ Use of Cyber” as well as those on ‘Strategic Communications” and “Organizational Structures of Groups.”

Furthermore, Dr. Lochard is culminating a two-year project as chair of the “Understanding the Local Dynamics” panel of the NATO HUMINT Center of Excellence on behalf of NATO headquarters. This effort provides research to the Alliance on how to best create policy to address upcoming conflicts by incorporating various elements of technology with traditional analysis. We are also launching an online publication series to provide salient and timely research on how technology touches areas relevant to the Institute’s approach to international affairs. In addition, our site provides resources on events, news, articles, books, websites, cyber hygiene, terminology, cyber security policies of various states and other matters addressing the many facets of cyber. Our speaker series is open to our community and partners. Many of our sessions are recorded and we will be streaming future ones to increase interaction. For our students, faculty, staff and partners we sponsor the Cyber Security Student Working Group which conducts training workshops, hosts round-table discussions, organizes speaker series from the region, provides local field trips and brings recruiters and scholarship opportunities to our community.

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