The Cybersecurity Diplomacy course equips professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to act effectively in cybersecurity diplomacy. This online course analyses how the abuse of technology impacts geopolitical security, social and economic development, and cyber processes and negotiations. The course is taught by academics, technology experts, and seasoned diplomats.
Notice how cybersecurity news has moved from ‘lifestyle’ and ‘tech’ sections to ‘politics’, and even ‘breaking news’?
The increasingly frequent and high-impact cyber breaches, hacks, and attacks are influencing global political and economic relations, and pushing states to the negotiating table. From the UN General Assembly and Security Council, to the G7, G20, the WTO, and various regional organisations like the AUC, OSCE, OAS and ASEAN, states are forced to find ways to secure cyberspace. Cyber(in)security is impacting international peace, sustainable development, digital cooperation, human rights and privacy, as well as the global digital business environment, and stakes are getting higher for everyone: ministers, diplomats, business executives, civil society leaders, tech gurus, and top researchers.
All this confronts us with a number of interesting and crucial challenges, that we cover in this cybersecurity training:
- Can international diplomacy, together with regional and national policies, address technology-related threats in current geopolitical contexts?
- How can diplomats, businesses and civil society leaders promote collaboration over confrontation?
- How can we ensure that agreements on secure behaviour in cyberspace can preserve the internet’s potential for universal access, economic and social development, and individual security, rights, and freedoms?
- How can YOU prepare yourself and your institution to take an active part in these processes?
Interested in becoming actively involved in cybersecurity negotiations and processes that aim to make our global cyberspace a safer place?
This 6-week online course on Cybersecurity Diplomacydebates current critical topics, such as those addressed in the final report of the UN Cyber OEWG, through group readings, fireside chats with policy experts, and other interactive learning techniques.
With Diplo’s well-recognised, engaging, and interactive learning methodology, this cybersecurity training provides a space for exchanging experiences and views within s select group of professionals from around the world, as well as with lecturers who are among the top professionals and senior diplomats active in cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity Diplomacy course complements our longer and more intensive academic Cybersecurity course, which provides a much broader overview of cybersecurity policy, including combating cybercrime and terrorism, protecting critical infrastructure, national policies and international cooperation, and the interplay between cybersecurity, economic development and human rights.
To learn more about the two main UN cybersecurity processes (GGE and OEWG), visit our Digital Watch observatory.
What will you learn?
- How to explain the impact of (in)security of digital technologies on geopolitics and social and economic development
- To understand cybersecurity issues on the diplomatic agenda and their impact on geopolitics
- How to identify multilateral and multistakeholder political processes that shape global and regional cybersecurity agendas
- How to explain the roles that stakeholder (states, companies, emergency responders, civil society, and academia) should play in achieving cyber-stability
- How to identify steps to prepare an institution to take part in those processes
- How to take an active role in international processes around strategic digital/cyber policy
How will you learn?
In this course you will interact intensively in discussions with classmates and lecturers from around the world. You will receive guidance and personalised feedback on your classwork from the course team.
How long will you learn?
The course lasts for 6 weeks:
- 1 week of course introduction and orientation to online learning
- 4 weeks of addressing the course topics one by one (see below for more details)
- 1 week for the course wrap-up and completing pending tasks
Who should apply
This course will be of interest to professionals from developed and developing countries, who want to follow and contribute to global negotiations on cybersecurity, and in particular:
- Diplomats and other practitioners involved in foreign relations (in ministries, international and regional organisations, etc.)
- Decision makers: officials in ministries, regulatory authorities, parliaments, etc.
- Business executives: corporate decision makers, strategic planning and government relations officers
- Civil society leaders in think-thanks, capacity building organisations, human rights advocacy groups, etc.
- Incident responders and technical community professionals such as executives of the CERT/CSIRT or SOC teams, standard-setting bodies, etc.
- Researchers and academics interested in digital technology, cybersecurity, and international relations.
Interested in how the security aspects of digital technology shape geopolitics - international peace and stability, and social and economic development? Do you want to learn how to contribute to various processes that shape the global cybersecurity environment? Then this online cybersecurity course is for you.
You don’t need to be a tech or policy expert to attend the course. All technical, legal, diplomatic, and policy aspects will be explained in this cybersecurity training in a clear, easier to understand, and appealing manner. The unique value of the course lies in the exchange of experiences and knowledge within a network of professionals from various backgrounds, as well as a well-crafted learning approach designed and facilitated by seasoned diplomats and experts.
The knowledge, insights, and contacts gained in this course are applicable in: deliberations of international and regional organisations, government policy decisions, strategic planning and governance relations for businesses, academic research and education, civil society advocacy work, and raising public awareness via media.
The course will involve number of guest lecturers, among others:
Ambassador Jürg Lauber, former Chair of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Developments in the Field of ICTs in the Context of International Security, and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations and other Organizations in Geneva
Ambassador Amr Aljowaily, former Vice Chair of the UN Disarmament Commission and Rapporteur of the United Nations’ Special Committee on Peacekeeping, and Ambassador of Egypt to Serbia
Mr Ljupčo Jivan Gjorgjinski, former Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), and Senior Advisor for Multilateral Affairs at the MFA of North Macedonia
Mr Chris Painter, former Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the US Department of State, President of the GFCE Foundation
- Explaining the strategic impact of cyber(in)security on the political, social and economic environment. Analysis of landmark cases, such as the SolarWinds hack.
- Understanding the cybersecurity issues on the diplomatic agenda and their impact on geopolitics (applicability of international law, norms and confidence building measures; particular concerns like protection of critical infrastructure and the supply chain, exploitation of vulnerabilities and the proliferation of malicious tools, challenges of attribution, etc; broader contexts like Internet governance, human rights and economic development).
- Discussing the roles that stakeholder should play for cyber-stability: states (and various national institutions, parliamentarians, etc), companies (and in particular the producers of digital products), incident responders (like CERT/CSIRT teams), the technical community, non-government organisations and advocacy groups, academia and the research community.
- Mapping multilateral processes (UN cyber GGE and OEWG, etc.) and multistakeholder processes (Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, Tech Accord, Charter of Trust, and Geneva Dialogue on Responsible Behaviour in Cyberspace, etc.) that shape global cybersecurity agenda, work of regional organisations (ASEAN, OSCE, OAS, AU, SCO, etc.), and related discussions in other international and multilateral organisations and processes (UN Digital Cooperation, ITU, WTO, and SDGs process, etc.).
- Understanding the specificities of diplomatic and political processes, and identifying steps to prepare an institution to take part in those processes (capacity building, diplomatic skills, developing foreign policy, etc.).
With the support of:
Diplo’s Cybersecurity Diplomacy course is conducted online over a period of six weeks. Reading materials and tools for the interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read lecture texts and watch videos, add their comments, references, and questions. Course lecturers and participants read and respond to these, creating asynchronous interaction. Throughout the week, participants complete additional activities (e.g. games, simulation exercises, and quizzes), and meet course lecturers at the end of the week for an hour-long session to discuss the week’s topic.
Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. This course requires a minimum of 3-4 hours of study time per week at their own pace, but may often lure participants to spend more due to the level and quality of the exchange among participants. Groups are limited to 25 participants.
At the end of the course, successful participants are awarded with a certificate of completion, and invited to join Diplo’s global Internet governance and cybersecurity online community of over 2000 members, with an option to attend thematic webinars and other events and activities.
All course materials, the e-learning platform, and the working language of the course is English. Applicants need to possess sufficient English reading and writing skills to follow postgraduate level materials and discussion.
Applicants for the certificate course should have:
- Interest in cybersecurity policy, international peace and stability, diplomacy, and multistakeholder approaches in international affairs.
- Sufficient English reading, writing and speaking skills to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading texts, and discussing complex concepts with other course participants);
- Regular internet access (broadband is preferable);
- A minimum of 3-4 hours commitment per week, and the readiness to participate in hour-long class online sessions (once a week at specified times).
Fees and scholarships
The 800€ fee includes:
- Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
- Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
- Online technical support
- E-certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments) which can be printed or shared electronically via permanent link
Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance to the course.
Alumni members are eligible for a 15% discount on course fees.
Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution.
A limited scholarship fund is available for diplomats and others working in international relations from small and developing countries, through support from the governments of Malta and Switzerland.
A limited scholarship fund is also available for civil society applicants working in the field of digital policy, through the general support of the Ford Foundation.
As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions.
How to apply
Fill out the short form to start your application process for this course. You will receive an instruction email on how to continue.
If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter that should include:
- Details of your relevant professional and educational background
- Reasons for your interest in the course
- Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: How will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?
Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrollment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.