Get up to Speed on Cyber Security: Learn from the Best

Posted: 20 Jul 2017

Get up to Speed on Cyber Security: Learn from the Best

The magnificent thing about TED Talks is that there are industry experts and enthusiasts offering lectures on countless topics, from anything business-related all the way up to self-help talks, education and social responsibility.

Additionally, they are all available free of charge on the TED website or YouTube. If you want to boost your knowledge on industry-specific topics, then you may want to include TED Talks in your research process, particularly if you want to expand your IT-industry expertise.

One topic that boasts a wealth of lectures from IT industry experts is cyber security, which is understandably a growing concern for businesses around the world. If you are in the business of cyber security, are looking to acquire IT security jobs or want to learn more about the area for your own business, here is a list of the major talks you should watch.

The first talk comes from Lorrie Faith Cranor, entitled ‘What’s wrong with your pa$$w0rd?’. It was recorded in Pittsburgh in March 2014. She is an Associate Professor of Computer Science, as well as a Professor of Engineering at the Carnegie Mellon University. Her talk concerns the topic of online privacy and security that works, in addition to advice on phishing and spam. This TED Talk inspects people’s passwords and points out the main mistakes people make in creating their passwords, highlighting the process hackers use to retrieve such passwords.

Interestingly, the talk highlighted the results of a study headed up by Cranor, with 80% of users reusing their passwords which she points out is more dangerous than writing it down. Particularly in business settings, where countless accounts need to be accessed, the same or similar passwords result in all the business data being susceptible to attack from online hackers. Hackers work by stealing password files from users in its hash form, they will then run it through a system and check the results against their file. Hackers will essentially find the popular passwords in the results and will use these first in their attempts to hack the system. Use Cramer’s insights to ensure your passwords are safe from threats.

The next talk on our list comes from security analyst Mikko Hypponen, and the talk covers the topic of computer viruses. Hypponen begins the talk with explaining the beginnings of computer viruses and its current risk of malware that poses a monumental threat to security. Hypponen gives watchers an insight into the creators of the first PC virus that was known as Brain. A in 1986.

In this entertaining talk, Hypponen explains how within the code of Brain.A its creators included a message that outlined, believe it or not, their names and address. So, what did Hypponen do next? Well, he went to visit the creators at their home for a friendly chat.

Hypponen then goes on to explain and demonstrate that viruses of the 80s and 90s were much more noticeable than it is now. The old viruses implemented funny visuals to demonstrate the start of the virus, and Hypponen even highlights that these were probably created by intelligent teens wanting to try something out! Nowadays, some odd 30 years on, internet security is a vital international problem. Hundreds of thousands of viruses are found every day which are created by organised criminal gangs, and large operations are in place to block these viruses and the effects they have. Watch on to find out more about how the internet is defended from detrimental viruses.

Our final talk comes from Keren Elazari who is a GigaOM analyst and cyber security expert, recorded in 2014 in Vancouver. Deterring from the majority view that hackers are a problem, Elazari actively pushes her ideology that hackers can be used for good, and they should be embraced for their abilities to spot vulnerabilities and fix them within systems. Essentially, Elazari believes that hackers are the solution to a safer world, both online and off as cyber security becomes a global issue.

She highlights that although it is easy for hackers to follow the path of criminal activity, there are some who use their knowledge to show the world their research in this area, drawing on examples such as Barnaby Jack who managed to configure ATMs to give him money. She points out the public’s fear and fascination with the power hackers possess. However, she goes on to label hackers as ‘the immune system to the information age’, explaining that although they may make us ‘sick’ in terms of our cyber security, they also point out the threats we need to fix. Learn about her history with hacking and why she thinks hackers need to be given a chance.

Some great talks from industry professionals! Once you’ve seen these talks, share your thoughts with us on social media or even highlight some other TED talks you think we should mention.

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