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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Andrew Dwyer

Personal web page

Addison Wheeler Research Fellow in the Department of Geography
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Addison Wheeler Research Fellow, Politics-State-Space

Contact Dr Andrew Dwyer (email at andrew.dwyer@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Andrew's interests span a range of critical research on computational securities (cybersecurity), which incorporate malicious software, computational agency, and offensive cyber operations.

His current research considers how machine learning algorithms and humans arrive at decisions with regards to offensive (and defensive) cyber, and the implications of this for claims of 'automated' security. As part of this, he is Co-Lead of the newly formed academic Offensive Cyber Working Group, bringing together a diverse group of academics from across the UK and beyond to discuss and research offensive cyber. In further exploring critical perspectives to data, ethics, and computation, he is Co-I of a Human Data Interaction (HDI) Network-funded project, Zoom Obscura.

This research develops on his PhD - Malware Ecologies: A Politics of Cybersecurity – completed at the University of Oxford in 2019, which offers novel ways to think of malware through an autoethnographic study of the analysis laboratory of the endpoint detection vendor, Sophos. In this, he rethinks the relationship between environments, humans, and computation, using the work of N. Katherine Hayles, to argue that computation is not just a tool but rather a political actor in the negotiation and performance of cybersecurity.

Andrew is also a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs at the University of Oxford, Assistant Editor at the journal Big Data & Society, and is on the Editorial Board for the journal, Digital Geography and Society. Previously he has been a Research Associate at the University of Bristol's Cyber Security Group and a Visiting Fellow at the SFB-TRR 138 'Dynamics of Security' collaborative research centre in central Germany.

Current Research

Andrew’s ongoing research fellowship – Digital Decisions (DIGIDEC) – seeks to question how the application of machine learning to cybersecurity – ‘Cyber AI’ – is revolutionising security practice through challenging the speed and efficacy of human decision. This project considers differing forms of (re)cognition, using N. Katherine Hayles, through combining insights from Geography, Science and Technology Studies (STS), International Relations, and beyond to offer a distinct challenge to the ‘automation’ of security. Security cannot be ‘hard-coded’ and is rather a socially negotiated process. What are then machine learning algorithms processing, and does it align with our contested expectations of security? As cybersecurity embraces machine learning across defensive and offensive postures, what are the dangers of such an approach? Computation exposes us to a world of securities that are neither reliant wholly on the human nor computation for their production, but a mixture between the two. The project then seeks to investigate the implications of differing forms of (re)cognition and ‘digital decisions’ for offensive cyber operations, adversarial machine learning, and future practices of war and security through detailed empirical study.

Research Groups

Department of Geography

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • O'Grady, Nathaniel & Dwyer, Andrew C. (2020). Cyber Security. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier Limited. 135 - 141.

Journal Article

Doctoral Thesis

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Report

  • Devanny, Joe, Dwyer, Andrew, Ertan, Amy & Stevens, Tim (2021). The National Cyber Force that Britain Needs?. Cyber Security Research Group / Offensive Cyber Working Group / The Policy Institute . London, King's College London.

Working Paper

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • International: Defence & disputes:
  • Security, territory and boundaries: