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

  • Hacked internet of things

    Commentary

    Gaming Policy in Cyberspace

    Hacked devices and intellectual property theft are a rich hunting ground for policy development. The challenge posed by Internet-connect devices is only getting worse as the number of online devices continues to grow.

    Aug 23, 2017

  • An Iraqi military HMMWV drives past an Islamic State sign in eastern Mosul after they captured it from IS

    Commentary

    The Islamic State May Be Failing, but Its Strategic Communications Legacy Is Here to Stay

    The Islamic State's caliphate is collapsing but its legacy will live on virtually because of its information operations. The scale of the menace presented by the group today pales in comparison to other global challenges, yet it manages to dominate and terrorize the public mind.

    Aug 17, 2017

  • The U.S. Capitol building illuminated at night in Washington, D.C.

    Blog

    RAND's Summer Reading List for Congress

    Hill staffers can make the most of the Congressional recess with this list of must-read research and commentary on the policy issues they will be addressing this fall.

    Aug 4, 2017

  • Girl Scouts compete in the Mission Ocean Challenge during the USS California Science Experience at Naval Surface Warfare Center, November 6, 2010

    Commentary

    Cybersecurity Badge: One Big Step for Girl Scouts, Potentially Giant Leap for Women

    The Girl Scouts will start offering 18 cybersecurity badges next year. In addition to exposing girls to cyber concepts and challenges, this could encourage them to pursue cybersecurity or other STEM careers in which women are underrepresented.

    Aug 3, 2017

  • Computer hacker working on laptop late at night in office

    Commentary

    Connect, Buy-Now, Fire: How the Dark Web Allows Criminals to Buy Weapons—Anonymously

    Despite its small size compared to the offline market, the ability of the dark web to anonymously arm individuals of all backgrounds needs to be taken seriously. Its potential impact on international security is significant.

    Jul 25, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference after the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017

    Commentary

    Russian Information Warfare: A Reality That Needs a Response

    For the last three decades, Russia has exploited its growing capabilities in cyberspace to spy on, influence, and punish others. The West will continue to struggle to hold Moscow accountable, in part because international law falls far short of fully defining the rules or resolving conflicts.

    Jul 21, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    US Weapons Main Source of Illegal Arms Trade on the Dark Web

    The illegal sales on the dark web of firearms, weapons, explosives, and banned digital guides on homemade products present challenges for law enforcement agencies and national governments. Its potential to anonymously arm criminals and terrorists, as well as vulnerable and fixated individuals, is the most dangerous aspect.

    Jul 19, 2017

  • A green globe illustration

    Q&A

    Global Risks in 2040: Q&A with Andrew Parasiliti

    Andrew Parasiliti discusses how the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security is envisioning the world in 2040, and the security challenges that will shape it.

    Jun 30, 2017

  • A pedestrian looks at floral tributes for the victims of the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market, June 6, 2017

    Commentary

    Why Aren't There More Terrorist Attacks Like the One in London?

    The number of attacks like the one on London Bridge are low because jihadist ideologies have failed to gain traction in most Muslim countries, and it's difficult to recruit people remotely. Supporting violence and participating in it are two different things.

    Jun 7, 2017

  • Male hands holding tablet,

    Commentary

    A 'Learning System' in Behavioral Health Can Help in Sharing Best Practices, Innovations

    Leveraging technological advances to make better use of the best available data could help rein in healthcare costs and improve both quality and safety. This makes sense whether the health care being delivered is physical or behavioral.

    May 30, 2017

  • A student in the Army's first Cyber Basic Officer Leader Course uses a field computer to probe for a targeted wireless network signal during a field training exercise at Fort Gordon, Georgia, February 1, 2017

    Commentary

    What Happens After ISIS Goes Underground

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria suffers defeats on the battlefield, it is expanding its cyber presence to continue to encourage attacks abroad. The more the group relies on cyberspace, the more likely it will expose important segments of its organization to detection and disruption.

    May 30, 2017

  • A young man is frustrated by the WannaCry ransomware attack

    Commentary

    WannaCry Virus: A Lesson in Global Unpreparedness

    The WannaCry ransomware attack provides important lessons about how to secure cyber networks. History indicates that other attacks will follow. Preparedness is crucial.

    May 22, 2017

  • A mobile phone with an app to control wireless devices in a smart home like a washing machine, security camera, door lock, and music player

    Commentary

    Using Digital Data in Criminal Investigations

    Personal devices such as smartphones and wearables gather and store personal data. How much of this “digital footprint” should be available for criminal investigations?

    May 15, 2017

  • A screen, showing Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual end-of-year news conference, is on display in Simferopol, Crimea, December 23, 2016.

    Commentary

    Russia in Action, Short of War

    The West needs to work more quickly and coordinate better to offset Russia's capabilities, aggressiveness, and success. Responding to Russia's hostile influence involves predicting Russia's targets, identifying the tools it's likely to use, and playing the long game rather than focusing on near-term events.

    May 9, 2017

  • The word truth in fading black paint

    Q&A

    How RAND Is Responding to Truth Decay

    RAND's Michael Rich and Jennifer Kavanagh explain what “Truth Decay” is and discuss how ongoing RAND research could help counter it.

    May 5, 2017

  • The 24-hour Operations Room inside GCHQ, Cheltenham, UK, November 17, 2015

    Commentary

    Five Eyes at 70: Where to from Here?

    The Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand began in the Cold War to meet the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Today, the nations' intelligence communities must contend with domestic terrorism and cyber threats while remaining ahead of Russia and China.

    Apr 21, 2017

  • A person typing on a computer keyboard in a dark room

    Commentary

    Are Terrorists Using Cryptocurrencies?

    As the U.S. Treasury Department and its partners have denied terrorists access to the international financial system, new digital currencies could become an attractive alternative. They could be used for money laundering or to pay the personnel and vendors that keep the terrorist machine running.

    Apr 21, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    Islamic State Control of People Down 83% in Iraq and 56% in Syria from Peak Levels

    The Islamic State has lost substantial control of territory and people but still conducts and inspires attacks around the world. The U.S. should pursue a light rollback strategy that relies on local forces backed by U.S. special operations forces, intelligence assets, and airpower.

    Apr 20, 2017

  • The Indiana National Guard Computer Network Defense Team readies their workstations for the Cyber Shield 2016 exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, April 20, 2016

    Commentary

    Reservists and the National Guard Offer Untapped Resources for Cybersecurity

    More than 100,000 personnel in the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve have some degree of cyber competence, including thousands with deep or mid-level expertise. They could help defend the cyber terrain on which America's national security, prosperity, and democracy depend.

    Apr 18, 2017

  • World map

    Commentary

    Why It's So Hard to Stop a Cyberattack — and Even Harder to Fight Back

    Cyber weapons attack the underlying network or computer systems. The possibility of unexpected effects in the cyber world is therefore greater than in conventional warfare. Not knowing if the effects were intentional complicates the response.

    Mar 30, 2017