The Complex Science of Cyberdefense: Computer Immunology

Threats are ubiquitous in complex systems: biology is rife with viruses, parasites, and bacteria; social networks abound with bullies; and international relations are stymied by rogue nations. In the second of three lectures, Stephanie Forrest proposes that understanding how complex systems generally resolve threats might suggest ways to address threats in cyberspace. Observing that biological defense systems solve essentially the same problem, she then explains how concepts from immunology are being adapted for the computational realm, and considers how the cyber world’s interrelationships with economics, social interactions, and politics may complicate the future of cyberdefense.