UWAS-N Assisting Underserved Communities with Cybersecurity Reporting

Cybersecurity breach and vulnerabilities reporting is largely the purview of private sector organizations and government agencies. As such, the tools and solutions available to ordinary consumers are often in response to notifications about possible breaches—such as bank or credit card fraud. Within these systems, the “consumer” is usually an undifferentiated category. However, vulnerability to cybersecurity breaches is not felt uniformly across society, fraud attempts are usually customized to particular populations, and access to assistance is only available when victims are visible to institutions. These inequities have particular importance for public policy and government agencies, which could leverage resources to create more approaches for reporting cybersecurity breaches from the “bottom up” in line with what critical and feminist cybersecurity theorists have argued would create more equitable protection from risk. Using the infrastructure of the Jackson School’s Global Research Groups, the Information School’s Technology & Social Change Group’s extensive experience in public interest technology, and our ongoing, 10+ year partnership with Microsoft, we propose that a team of faculty and students develop a community-based cybersecurity breach and vulnerabilities reporting tool designed to intake, anonymize, and aggregate cybersecurity issues from historically marginalized communities in King County, WA. This work would include building a network of stakeholders to support the longevity of such a tool, including with advocacy and neighborhood organizations; city, county, and state government stakeholders; and private sector participants. The resulting work would serve as a model for other municipal areas seeking greater citizen awareness, surveillance, and prevention of cybersecurity breaches.

Grant Info


Jessica Beyer


Sara Curran

Start Date

Jan 1, 2022