Cyber and Data Sciences

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RAND was at the forefront of early computing and data science. In the 1950s, we built computers to improve researchers' analytic and modeling capabilities. We also developed data communications technologies that were forerunners of the internet. Today, RAND experts recommend policies and best practices to support safe and secure technological innovation and adoption.

  • A green wireframe model covers an actor's lower face during the creation of a synthetic facial reanimation video, aka a deepfake, in London, Britain, February 12, 2019, photo by Reuters TV

    Report

    The Threat of Deepfakes

    Jul 6, 2022

    Various AI technologies are ripe for use in disinformation campaigns. Deepfake videos represent an obvious threat, but voice cloning, deepfake images, and generative text also merit concern. And websites now offer access to deepfake services.

  • An inside look at an ion trap within Quantinuum's quantum computer, which processes data using trapped-ion technology, Broomfield, Colorado, December 6, 2021, photo by Quantinuum/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Hack Post-Quantum Cryptography Now So That Bad Actors Don't Do It Later

    Jul 28, 2022

    The U.S. government should consider offering a public cash bounty to anyone who can crack the new forms of encryption that are being rolled out to defend against quantum computers. If a bounty helps catch a vulnerability before it's deployed, then the modest cost of the bounty could prevent much higher costs down the line.

Explore Cyber and Data Sciences

  • Government agents tracking cybercrime

    Commentary

    How the Pentagon Should Deter Cyber Attacks

    Foreign hackers are not afraid to launch attacks on the United States in cyberspace that they would not dare risk in a real theater of war. As cyber aggression gets worse and more brazen, the U.S. must figure out how to deter foreign actors in cyberspace as effectively as it does in nuclear and conventional warfare.

    Jan 10, 2018

  • Conceptual image of human voice

    Commentary

    Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

    New technology can convincingly fake the human voice and create security nightmares. Considering the widespread distrust of the media, institutions, and expert gatekeepers, audio fakery could start wars.

    Jan 8, 2018

  • Mert Davies' briefcase in the 1960s

    Blog

    Mert Davies: All-Star Pioneer of the Cosmos

    Merton Davies spent his early years using satellite imagery to spy on terrestrial targets. His work led to the first successful reconnaissance satellite, Corona. Later, he used deep-space photographs to map the planets in our solar system.

    Jan 5, 2018

  • The new Smart concept autonomous car Vision EQ fortwo model is presented during the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 12, 2017

    Commentary

    Autonomous Vehicles: Terrorist Threat or Security Opportunity?

    Terrorist groups that track developments in technology could be considering using self-driving cars in place of suicide bombers or for ramming attacks. But autonomous vehicle capabilities offer a range of potential benefits to law enforcement and security operations, too.

    Jan 3, 2018

  • A child poses with a Lego Boost set, a predicted top seller this Christmas, at the Hamleys toy store in London, Britain, October 12, 2017

    Commentary

    Smart Toys May Pose Risks

    Parents shouldn't avoid buying smart toys during the holidays, particularly if these devices top children's Christmas lists. But parents should definitely be wary of the security and privacy risks that smart toys can pose.

    Dec 21, 2017

  • Data sharing and privacy concept

    Commentary

    Collaboration Is the Best Strategy to Combat Population Health Concerns

    The greatest opportunities to improve health happen pretty much everywhere but the doctor's office. Collaborative programming that merges strategies from housing, education, or labor could make a big difference.

    Dec 14, 2017

  • Criminal hiding behind a mask on computer screen asking the owner for money

    Commentary

    The WannaCry Cyber Attack Could Be the First of Many If the NHS Takes No Action

    In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) was one of the organizations most severely affected by the WannaCry ransomware. The NHS and other public sector organizations need to improve their cybersecurity processes and quickly before a more severe cyber attack takes place.

    Dec 1, 2017

  • Blockchain cryptocurrency financial technology concept with binary code

    Commentary

    Blockchain: Should We Believe the Hype?

    Industry, governments and academics are all speculating on the ways in which blockchain could revolutionize everything from finance to the music industry. Now is the time for policymakers and industry to take note and find out what blockchain could offer.

    Nov 30, 2017

  • Computer hacker with magnifying glass

    Commentary

    It's Time for the International Community to Get Serious About Vulnerability Equities

    Multiple countries around the world are likely discovering, retaining and exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities without a process to properly consider the trade-offs. This needs to change. It’s time for the international community to get serious about vulnerability equities.

    Nov 15, 2017

  • Congressman Adam Schiff speaks at a House Intelligence Committee meeting about Russian use of social media to influence U.S. elections, Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017

    Commentary

    Covert Influence Is the New Money Laundering

    Anti-money laundering laws provide lessons for combating covert influence operations, such as Russian meddling in the U.S. election. These laws could be adapted for online media models that do not require users to be paid customers.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Trading information about Equifax and the company logo are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 8, 2017

    Commentary

    The Equifax Breach: Yawn, or Yikes?

    In cases where personal information is exposed, such as the Equifax data breach, it is critical that consumers take steps to ensure their information is not abused. The simplest and perhaps the most effective way to enhance personal digital security is to protect account credentials using password management software.

    Nov 3, 2017

  • Hands typing with visual of computer code

    Multimedia

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era: How Worried Should We Be?

    Large-scale data breaches like those of Equifax and OPM compromised the personal data of millions of people. What can be done to improve the response to such breaches? In this October 26th congressional briefing, Lillian Ablon and Sina Beaghley address victim and lawmaker reactions, national security implications, and considerations for policymakers.

    Oct 26, 2017

  • Robots working with cardboard boxes on a conveyer belt

    Commentary

    AI's Promise and Risks

    Artificial intelligence seems to be advancing faster than efforts to understand its potential consequences, good and bad. And discussions about AI often veer toward extremes. More balanced, rigorous analysis is needed to help shape policies that mitigate AI's risks and maximize its benefits.

    Oct 24, 2017

  • Credit cards, a chain, an open padlock, and a computer keyboard are visible next to the Equifax logo

    Commentary

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era

    The personal and financial data of almost 146 million U.S. consumers has been compromised by the Equifax breach, the latest in a long line of high-profile hacks. Do consumers worry enough about such breaches? And what options are available to Congress?

    Oct 18, 2017

  • Speech bubbles imposed over a world map

    Essay

    Big Data, Big Questions

    RAND-Lex is a computer program that can scan millions of lines of text and identify what people are talking about, how they fit into communities, and how they see the world. The program has shed light on how terrorists communicate, how the American public thinks about health, and more.

    Oct 16, 2017

  • Scales of justice in front of computer monitors with code

    Commentary

    The Intersection of Algorithms and an Individual's Rights

    Data collection, and our reliance on it, have evolved extremely rapidly. The resulting algorithms have proved invaluable for organizing, evaluating and utilizing information. How do individuals' rights come in to play, when data about their lives is compiled to create algorithms, and the resulting tools are applied to judge them?

    Sep 29, 2017

  • Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah listen to him via a screen during a rally marking the 11th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in Khiam, Lebanon, August 13, 2017

    Commentary

    How Hezbollah Came to Dominate Information Warfare

    Hezbollah's information warfare portfolio includes newspapers, social media outlets, television programming, and a major internet presence. Its websites reflect the group's diverse agenda and aim to be multi-generational in their approach, offering information about social services as well as a video game to engage youth.

    Sep 19, 2017

  • Woman using smartphone and laptop with icon graphic cyber security network of connected devices and personal data security

    Commentary

    How to Help Small Businesses Deal with Cyber Threats

    Small businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber threats. What can be done to provide small businesses the security to continue to prosper, while enhancing America's cybersecurity workforce and making the economy more secure?

    Sep 15, 2017

  • U.S. ground troops patrol while robots carry their equipment and drones serve as spotters

    Commentary

    Artificial Intelligence and the Military

    AI has many possible applications for the military, such as providing unpredictable and adaptive adversaries for training fighter pilots. But what are the implications of AI adoption?

    Sep 7, 2017

  • Two girls on a couch watching TV while eating popcorn

    Blog

    How RAND Helped Cable TV Spread Far and Wide

    In the late 1960s and early '70s, RAND released a series of reports about cable television — the technology, federal and state regulation, and its use in education. The researchers' interactive vision for cable TV was a lot like the internet.

    Aug 25, 2017