International Security Index iSi




“How can people escape from a well-trodden path in their journey? It’s actually quite simple: they just need to veer off from the beaten track. Whenever I travel with companions – preferably locals – who help me on my own journeys, my recipe is to convince them that the beaten track is not for us. Ideally, our own path should lead to the deepest, darkest forest… That’s the kind of forest I like best. It’s a synonym of freedom for me.” – PIR Center Founder and Special Advisor Vladimir Orlov.


“MGIMO and MIIS students organize online seminars since 2015 but this is the first time when such discussion is moderated by two think-tanks. To establish a sustainable dialogue between Russia and the United States on nuclear nonproliferation it is essential to train a new generation of specialists in this field,” – PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev.


“I had already had the intellectual awakening, about the details of nuclear weapons and the nuclear threat, from all the top experts. But did not know what it felt like in my gut—until I went through those 38 minutes.  Even with everything I knew about nuclear war, and nuclear weapons, and Hiroshima, and fallout, and nuclear winter, nuclear war was unimaginable to me—until I went through these 38 minutes”, Founder of NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth and documentary filmmaker Cynthia Lazaroff.

Security in Cyber Space

Security in Cyber Space

(2 credits)

The course program developed by Mr. Oleg Demidov, the PIR Center’s Consultant and Member of the PIR Center’s Advisory Board.

The course instructor: Mr. Oleg Demidov.


1.1     The place and role of the course in the program of study:


Information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) have become one of the most ubiquitous, fundamental, and genuinely global technologies that define the dynamics of the development of the global economy and international security.


Technologically advanced countries have developed a comprehensive financial and infrastructural capability and expertise to use ICT for military-political purposes. In view of the evolution of malicious software; growing threats to critical infrastructure; increasing dependence of all the key sectors or the global and national economy, governance, and security on ICT it is safe to say that in the developed countries, the potential to achieve the goals of the conflict using ICT is approaching the potential of kinetic weapons and even WMD.


WMD nonproliferation, prospects of arms control and nuclear safety and security themselves are influenced by development of ICT technologies and opportunities for military use of cyber space.


The course “Security Issues in Cyber Space” aims at providing knowledge on influence of ICT and strategic use of cyber space on global security and strategic stability, arms control, disarmament and nuclear security.


The course will provide knowledge on ICT and cyber space, which is important for future experts on WMD nonproliferation. The course reveals and considers new aspects of international and political context of disarmament, arms control, nonproliferation and nuclear security.


The course will examine such dimensions of the interrelation between cyber security issues and nonproliferation as:


  • Implications of the ICT developments for nonproliferation, disarmament, arms control and nuclear security;
  • ICT and cyber space impact on future of deterrence, strategic stability, strategic relations and global security;
  • Possibilities and limitations for use of nonproliferation and arms control experience for development of international regulation of cyber space and its use in military purposes;
  • Cyber security of nuclear and other critical infrastructure.


The course goals and objectives:


The main goal of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge on the elements of ICT and cyber space development, which have an impact on global security, prospects of arms control and disarmament, create new opportunities and risks for nonproliferation and nuclear security. Among the practical tasks is to raise awareness among students of the importance of information and computer security as a fundamental part of the overall security of nuclear facilities.


Course objectives:

  1. To introduce basic definitions, concepts, history current state and infrastructure of ICT and military use of cyber space in the context of global security and impact of ICT on future of strategic relations and nuclear security.
  2. To orient students to understand the relationship between use of cyber space and nonproliferation aspects of global security.
  3. To provide students with methodology of analysis of the cyber risks to nuclear security and global security, arising from use of cyber technologies and use of cyber space.  


1.2     Learning outcomes:

Classes are generally held to provide knowledge and methodology for further analysis and discussion on the matter of the course.

Teaching methods used include lectures, consultations, seminars, debate, discussions and students’ seminar presentations.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Understand interrelations between development of cyber technologies and strategic and nuclear sphere.
  2. Analyze keys vulnerabilities and risks of nuclear security, arms control and disarmament process, connected with growing access to cyber technologies.
  3. Correlate advantages and risks of use of cyber technologies for nuclear sphere.
  4. Analyze and compare international bilateral and multilateral initiatives and programs on peaceful and military use of ICT.
  5. Assess the efficiencies and deficiencies of the existing political and legal frameworks on ICT regulation and nuclear security.
  6. Search information and literature on cyber and nuclear issues, distinguish between authoritative and unreliable sources on these issues.


Course requirements:

Students will be required to attend not less than 90% of classes and to be prepared for class discussions. Conscientious reading of the assigned materials is compulsory. Students will also be required to participate in seminar discussions and to present written test.

Presentations (requirements):

1.3     Grading plan:

Average assessment will consist of three parts. First part is derived from students’ class active class participation and participation in seminar discussions. Second part consists of preparation of presentation by students. If the student receives ≥ 70% average points, he/she passes the final test automatically. If the average points are <70%, the student passes the final test.




Class participation and seminar activity (participation in discussion, questions, comments)




Final Test




Course outline & Literature (available in pdf)

Slides in pdf:

Lecture 1. November 30, 2018. Cyberspace and ICTs: Understanding the New Domain.

Lecture 2. November 30, 2018. Cyberspace in Global Security Context: International Cooperation and Cyber Governance.

Lecture 3-4. December 14, 2018. Cyber security of critical infrastructures (CIs): concept and classification on CIs. Case studies of cyber incidents at CI objects: nuclear energy sector and other sectors.