Viewing cyber security through human security lens: challenges and prospects in the context of the Arctic

Prof. Kamrul Hossain1

1Northern Institute For Environmental and Minority Law / Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland

Cyber security’s connection to human security is not self-evident given that often security in cyber space is measured through national security interests. However, humans are increasingly being dependent on ICT-based functions in their everyday lives. These functions require safe and secure systems where computer networks operate in cyberspace. It is about protecting data from unauthorized access, vulnerabilities and attacks delivered via internet by cyber criminals. Protecting machine tools, operators, sensors and anything, that can otherwise be corrupted or disrupted and would lead to mal-functioning of for example digitally-driven infrastructures or devices, can also be referred to as cyber security threats. Various aspects of cyber-security issues interact with societal and human dimension of security. For example, access to internet / information today is referred to as part of human rights. Similarly non-disrupted functioning of critical infrastructures (increasingly digitally driven) provides both safety and security in societal context. Against this background, this presentation explores how sparsely populated Arctic region – which is undergoing a rapid transformation driven by the forces of climate change and economic globalization – and its population perceive challenges and opportunities resulted from increasing digital and cyber infrastructure as both threats as well as enablers in their everyday life.


Dr. Kamrul Hossain is a Research Professor and the Director of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) at the Arctic Centre in the University of Lapland. He is also an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Lapland. He leads a number of international research projects at the Arctic Centre. Dr. Hossain has extensively published in the field of international law as well as in law and human rights that apply to the Arctic.

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