The Theology of Cybersecurity Global Threats, Local Protections, and Ethical Obligations

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Anthony J. Elia


Institutions of higher learning, including seminaries and theological schools around the world are increasingly faced with not just keeping information safe, but needing to be proactive against external cyber-threats on a global scale. Unlike the world of twenty-five years ago, unknown actors 10,000 miles away have the potential to infiltrate, infect, hold hostage with ransomware, and even destroy our valued information. In this presentation I will address both the functional, relevant, and practical questions about cybersecurity in seminaries and theological schools, and the theological and ethical questions about being proactive stewards of cyber-infrastructure. The role of cybersecurity reaches all members of a community and can affect everything from student library accounts to the reputation of an institution.  In this paper we will look at both the practical and the theological-ethical nature of cybersecurity in theological institutions, and ask how we can be more engaged and better protected against potential threats.

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