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Microsoft Secure

In June, we concluded our Cybersecurity 2020 Student Essay Contest in which we sought original research on how to measure the security impact of policies around the world. Government policy makers around the world struggle with crafting effective policy to reduce cybersecurity risks in the midst of tremendous change in the cyber ecosystem. These developments led us to seek out novel analyses from future cybersecurity thought leaders.

We were excited to receive entries from 17 different countries/regions around the world. Each of the qualifying entries were reviewed by a panel of judges evaluating novelty of analysis, future relevance, and quantitative basis. Today, I am pleased to share the top three prize winners.

1st Place – Samuel Coxwell from Queen’s University in Canada
Essay Title: Cybercrime: Why does it pay, and what can we do about it?
Our first place winner explored a number of policy alternatives to combat cybercrime, then took an exploratory look at how emerging technological tools and trends, such as the “deep web” and virtual “crypto-currencies” will impact cybercrime in the coming years. The paper then discussed how incentives shape the role of private firms in securing cyberspace.

2nd Place – Julie Richardson from Queen’s University in Canada
Essay Title: Approaches to Cybercrime: Policy Solutions for Canada
Our second place winner also addressed the issue of cybercrime, and focused on policy and law enforcement recommendations, and their political feasibility. The author considered the modernization of laws and investigative techniques required to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of cybercrime.

3rd Place – Andrew Shiffer from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the United States
Essay Title: A Cybersecurity Triumvirate: Policies, Outcomes, and Emerging Trends
Our final winner featured a quantitative analysis of international cybersecurity policies. This paper also proposed several recommendations for enhancing the security of computing devices while considering emerging trends such as ubiquitous computing and the rapid growth of online users.

Congratulations to each of the winners! We want to thank everyone who submitted an entry for consideration.  There were a number of great entries, and that made the selection process difficult. While this marks the end of our contest, we hope it will stimulate further dialog on the importance of this type of information in helping inform policymaking decisions in the future.