Career Paper


Cyber Security and Social Science

Nathan Guman

Carrer Paper


According to the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the digital economy accounted for 10.3% of US GDP, or 2.4 trillion dollars in 2021, with an average growth rate of 6.7% over the last 5 years (BEA). The internet and computer networks have grown to become a fixture, even a requirement for conducting economic activity. As history has shown, where there is economic activity criminal activity will follow and computers are no exception. “Cybercrime is predicted to cost the world $8 trillion USD in 2023, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. If it were measured as a country, then cybercrime would be the world’s third largest economy after the U.S. and China (Freeze)”. Preventing cybercrime is a complex operation however the first line of defense for most organizations is the Cybersecurity Analyst position within the company and these Analysts must understand social science and its principles to be successful at their jobs.

Section 1: Cybersecurity Analyst Job Description

“A cyber security analyst protects a company’s network and data infrastructures from security breaches, suspicious activities, and malware attacks. They monitor a company’s network, implement firewalls, and create contingency plans for information systems (NEIT)”. Protection of the computer network and the data within is the core responsibility for a cybersecurity analyst. An important aspect an analyst must always keep in mind is the network and its data is to be protected from a person. Far to often the focus becomes the machines and forgets the person. Computer systems and data revolve around and exist by and for people. Computers are ultimately a social phenomenon. The group of scientific disciplines that study social phenomenon are called the social sciences.

Section 2: Social Science Principles

There are many different fields of social science covering a huge variety of topics. Criminology, Economics, political science, psychology, and sociology as just a few fields of study within social science. To cover such a diverse and different areas of study under a single umbrella term may seem too simplistic or that it may dilute the potency of the description. However, each of these areas share the same basic scientific principles. Relativism, Objectivity, Parsimony, determinism, ethical neutrality, and skepticism are all principles shared across these diverse fields of study. It is these principles that help to shape and guide the scientific process, and which must be understood by any who work with social phenomena, including the use of computer systems.

Section 3: Cybersecurity Analyst and Social Science

There are many different types of cybercrime and cyberthreats which an analyst must be knowledgeable on, and which all have at least one common thread. Weather is it hacking, fraud, malware, or ransomware, at the other end of the attack is the attacker, is the person. What brought them to commit cybercrime and how does this path inform how they might attack the network? It a question which cannot solely be answered in the cyber realm but the realm of psychology or criminology. How must data on the attack be preserved and documented in a way where it can be used in a court of law? The technical aspects of data forensics and data structure must be understood by the analyst, however criminal justice and law must also be considered and understood. There are very few, if any, scenarios where the job of a Cybersecurity analyst does not touch other aspect of social science.

Some of the daily tasks of a cybersecurity analyst are intrusion detection, endpoint management, data security, networking and network security and programming (Coursera). While undoubtably technical in nature one does not have to look far to see how these areas connect to the social science because they all involve a person.

              Another aspect of the Cybersecurity Analysts job is to help create a culture within an organization of security. Building and maintaining a strong culture of cyber defense is often more impactful than any strategy or training event. This requires an understanding of people, their motivations, and habits, all areas of social scientific study.

Conclusion: Impact on society

More important than the massive and growing economic impact of computer networks and data, the explosive growth of social media and online interactions has shaped the world unlike anything in the past century. For the first time in human history, distance does not necessarily mean isolation anymore. The ability to communicate instantaneously across the planet has allowed for unprecedented human connection. C.S. Lewis said “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one. (1960)”. The internet has allowed for more people across the world to say “what! You too?” Marginalized, isolated communities and people have found friendship, hope, a place to exist together, to find love, to organize, to fight for change, to strive for understanding, and to find more lasting peace. Often, we think of cybersecurity analysts in the world of white collar business and big money. As is often the case when humans are involved, it is so much more then we think.


BEA, “Digital Economy | U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).” , Accessed December 2023

Freeze, Di. “Cybercrime to Cost the World 8 Trillion Annually in 2023.” Cybercrime Magazine, 13 Oct. 2022,

NEIT, “Cyber Security Analyst Responsibilities.” NEIT, 18 Jan. 2022,

Coursera. “What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do? 2023 Job Guide.” Coursera, 21 July 2023,

Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. 1960. San Francisco, Harperone, 1960.

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