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Nationally-Recognized Experts on Cybersecurity and Privacy Featured at Fall Event

Sep 17, 2014, by Paul Howell
Tags: 2014 Technology Exchange, Campus IT, Executive Insights, Frontpage News, Infrastructure & Platform Services, Security, Security & Identity

The upcoming Technology Exchange in Indianapolis will offer an opportunity to hear from nationally recognized experts on the future cybersecurity and privacy in the 21st century. The challenges to protecting our privacy and assuring the trustworthiness of our information technology appear to be never ending. Routinely, there are new reports of major breaches of databases containing confidential personal information, government spying and eavesdropping threatening civil liberties, and businesses whose only product is the massive amount information gathered about its users and then resold.

Taking a quick look back at recent events may help to understand these challenges. By no means an exhaustive list, below are some notable recent events:

  • Data breaches that exposed tens of millions of credit card numbers (e.g., Target: 40 million, and most recently Home Depot which may be larger than Target) that presumably are used by criminals to commit financial fraud
  • Personally identifiable information used to commit identity theft
  • Infrastructure attacks 
    • 400Gbps NTP amplification DDoS attack
    • BGP prefix hijacking to steal bitcoins
  • Insiders stealing and publishing large volumes of secret information (e.g., Snowden)
  • Nations conducting economic espionage (e.g., China’s Peoples Liberation Army Unit 61398 reported by Mandiant)
  • Celebrities’ cloud accounts are compromised and personal information made public, violating their privacy

Looking ahead, there are impressive new information technologies being developed that will further connect our lives with information technology. Some examples of new technologies include sensors everywhere and the "Internet of Things," automotive vehicle to vehicle communications and 3-D printing. While each of these new areas have the potential to provide important positive contributions, lessons of the past indicate that there will likely be negative consequences once criminals and attackers learn to exploit these new technologies and use them for unintended purposes.

The future world is going to continue to present significant challenges that defy a single "silver bullet" solution. Opinions vary on what the right mix of new laws, new technologies, and better informed users. I’m hoping to gain some insights from the panel on dealing with future challenges and what can be done to provide for safety and privacy in the technologies we have come to depend upon.