Thursday, November 17, 2016

Yale Cyber Leadership Forum Launches

The Yale Cyber Leadership Forum is a two-day program on March 30 and April 1, 2017, that will focus on bridging the divide between law, technology, and business in cybersecurity. Participants will examine how to better communicate across the divide to more effectively recognize, prepare for, and respond to the threats we all face. Enrollment is limited. Applications are being accepted and processed on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.

The Forum director is Oona A. Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law and founder and director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School. “Lawyers, technologists, and business leaders responding to cyber-threats frequently find themselves stymied by the difficulty of communicating across disciplinary, professional, and technical boundaries,” Hathaway said. “Business leaders and lawyers usually do not understand the technology behind cyber threats, and at the same time, cyber specialists operate without a deep understanding of the legal obligations or business constraints that businesses and governments face. This leaves some critical questions unanswered––how should an organization prepare for cyber-attacks? What is the technical and legal landscape applicable to these cyber-threats? What is the role of the government vis-à-vis organizations that became targets of cyber-attacks? Our Yale Cyber Leadership Forum is aimed at tackling these critical questions.”

The team-taught Forum will be organized around expert panels, talks by keynote speakers, and breakout sessions. The Forum will bring together a diverse set of thought leaders, including practitioners from leading law firms, cybersecurity technology experts, policy experts, and academics working at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. Every attendee at the conference will take an active role in tackling the challenges ahead. After the meeting, the Yale team will prepare a leadership report based on both the large-group and small-group conversations outlining the challenges posed by the cyber divide and proposing strategies for overcoming them—at both the individual level and at the government policy/regulatory level.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The technical threat landscape
  • The regulatory and legal landscape, at both the domestic and international levels
  • The cyber divide across different disciplines
  • Making decisions about cybersecurity in a world of uncertainty
  • What can be learned from recent cyber-attacks: what to do and what not to do when faced with an attack
  • How to restructure the legal and regulatory landscape to better bridge the divide

The Forum will draw on lessons learned in a Hewlett Foundation-funded cross-disciplinary course, “The Law and Technology of Cyber Conflict,” co-taught by Professor Oona Hathaway. This collaboration between Yale Law School and the Yale Department of Computer Science, which aimed at spanning the disciplinary gaps between future lawyers and computer scientists, provides a foundation for the Cyber Leadership Forum conversations. Several Yale students will participate in portions of the conference, offering a fresh perspective on the challenges that lie ahead.

For more information on the Forum and to apply, visit