(Video) SoDa Symposium Seed Grant Series: “Do County Demographics Shape Exposure to Cyber Harm?”

Maia Johnston - May 29, 2024

Panelists discuss cybersecurity, cyber harm, federal funding programs, and more

SODA Symposium in black lettering and yellow background

On May 7, 2024, UMD’s Social Data Science Center (SoDa) hosted another fascinating virtual symposium as part of a series that highlights the recipients of the SoDa Seed Grant Award. This webinar, “Do County Demographics Shape Exposure to Cyber Harm? Exploring Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Integrated Attack Surface Size and Vulnerability,” was the final session in the symposium series for the academic year. 

In a discussion moderated by College of Information Studies (INFO) Professor and Interim Co-Director of SoDa Wayne Lutters, panelists discussed cybersecurity, cyber harm, federal funding programs, and the relationship between local government-controlled critical infrastructure and community populations. 

Included among the presenters were INFO Associate Research Professor Charles Harry and Research Professor William Lucyshyn. They both hold appointments in the School of Public Policy and are the Director and Co-Director of UMD’s Center for Governance of Technology and Systems (GoTech), respectively. They were joined by Netta Squires, the director of Local Cybersecurity for the State of Maryland, who served as the symposium’s discussant. 

Harry detailed the focus of their research project that takes a deep dive into “state and county government functions that relate to critical infrastructure.” These infrastructures refer to key services managed by state and county governments such as public school boards, water systems, property tax collection, and voter registration. Their driving question explores whether there is “a relationship between populations and population composition—including race, income, and education—and vulnerability of government networks.” 

Watch the full video here.