Professional Emergence Under Pressure: The Cyber Security Arena

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Lea FOVERSKOV, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Cyber security has risen to prominence on the transnational political scene in recent years. The focus has been on the threat posed by potential adversaries to the critical infrastructure of nations. In the name of collective security, intelligence agencies are resorting to mass surveillance and privacy intrusions. In contrast, computer security specialists focus on securing end points of networks, approaching the manner more technically. This article explains why these two approaches are opposed to each other by employing the analytical framework of linked ecologies. Focusing on Denmark in a global context, the interview-based study examines the relations between experts in the business community and actors in both the political and academic spheres. There are early signs of an emerging profession characterised by high demand for cyber security services but low supply of professionals; new specific educational tracks in cyber security; and a re-coupling of the practical and academic domains which have hitherto been decoupled. However, there is no professional organisation to provide a conscious push for professionalisation. Instead, the development is driven by pressure from the political sphere and it is characterised by regulation efforts, standardisation, a call for a clear division of responsibilities within the state, and the rise of formal education. This leads to the emergence of a quasi-profession. Cyber security has become an arena of competition between different professions and different ecologies, and it is difficult to tell whether IT security experts or legal experts will dominate the policy arena in the future.