Cybersecurity in the Icelandic Multiverse

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“Security in cyber space should be one of the main cornerstones of economic prosperity in Iceland, resting on a foundation of sophisticated awareness of security issues and legislation.”

—Icelandic National Cyber Security Strategy

Iceland makes a unique case study for cybersecurity in that it ranks among the world’s most connected nations as well as among the highest for social trust. Data that elsewhere is considered sensitive is shared freely by individuals and businesses. As a result, technology built in places with different cybersecurity paradigms may not function as intended in an Icelandic context. This work, undertaken with undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Iceland’s Computer Science department, employed ethnographic methods in a classroom setting to build cybersecurity awareness with a special emphasis on culture and to engage the broader community in conversations about security from local perspectives. This work lends itself well to multinational enterprise settings, where systems may be built with the expectation of security behaviors that do not actually reflect local or regional norms. Of special interest to the EPIC community may also be this case study’s exploration of ethnography as a defensive grassroots tool in cyber warfare. In the so-called “wild west” of cybercrime where so often those with the most resources and imperialist drive win the day, we suggest that ethnographic skills are an undertapped resource that communities can employ in active striving for resilience. Keywords: cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, ethnography, anticipatory ethnography, futures thinking, storytelling

Article citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings pp 317–335, ISSN 1559-8918,

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