Cybersecurity, trustworthiness and resilient systems: guiding values for policy

Adam Henschke*, Shannon Brandt Ford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cyberspace relies on information technologies to mediate relations between different people, across different communication networks and is reliant on the supporting technology. These interactions typically occur without physical proximity and those working depending on cybersystems must be able to trust the overall human–technical systems that support cyberspace. As such, detailed discussion of cybersecurity policy would be improved by including trust as a key value to help guide policy discussions. Moreover, effective cybersystems must have resilience designed into them. This paper argues that trustworthy cybersystems are a key element to resilient systems, and thus are core to cybersecurity policy. The paper highlights the importance of trustworthiness for resilient cybersystems. The importance of trustworthiness is shown through a discussion of three events where trustworthiness was the target or casualty of cyberattacks: Stuxnet, hacking of communications and the Edward Snowden revelations. The impact of losing trust is highlighted, to underpin the argument that a resilient cybersystem ought to design in trustworthiness. The paper closes off by presenting a general set of policy implications arising from recognition of the interplay between trust, trustworthiness and resilience for effective cybersecurity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-95
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cyber Policy
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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