Tech in Motion – Cyber Security Panel

Past Tides
April 9, 2017 By Livia Sponseller

On February 23, Tech in Motion hosted a panel at the Cove that shared its insights on cybersecurity at the Cove. The panel discussed the problems cybersecurity faces and its importance in every industry. Tech in Motion’s mission is to connect technology enthusiasts with other professionals, in order to discover new tech and trends. The panel discussion was led by some of Southern California’s top cybersecurity leaders.

Bryan Cunningham, Cybersecurity and Privacy Lawyer from the UCI Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute, led the discussion on the current trends in cybersecurity. He moderated the dialogue on how cybersecurity affects the healthcare, financial, and government industries. Daniel de Carvalho, Senior Cyber Security Engineer at Global Cash Card, began with an analysis with trends in the financial industry. He spoke about Tokenization, and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used in financial transactions to detect and deter fraud. Tokenization is popular in the financial industry, as it decreases liability and risk in financial transactions by creating surrogate values or ‘tokens,’ which are used during transactions, eliminating the need for storage of users’ credit card numbers and pins.

Li Li, UCI Alumni and Data Scientist at Cylance, explained how machine learning creates algorithms that solve malware problems. His team of data scientists applies novel machine learning algorithms to computer security problems. Jesse Salmon, Security Architect at Kareo, pivoted the discussion to cybersecurity in the healthcare industry. Salmon explained that hackers in the healthcare industry ‘stay stealth’ and have an automated hacking process which slowly leaks data from doctors. Salmon suggests moving data to the cloud to reduce the risk of breaches and keep information more secure.

Aaron Guzman, Principal Security Consultant at SecureWorks, spoke on ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware in which a hacker encrypts a user’s data and requires them to pay to get their data unlocked. A recent innovation in ransomware are hackers requiring payment via bitcoins to unlock the stolen data. Citing an example of a luxury hotel in Austria whose automatic room key locks were hacked, Guzman exemplified the level of sophistication that ransomware has reached and how it will inevitably fuse with the Internet of Things (IoT) and affect our everyday lives. He further explains that the future of ransomware could, therefore, “involve smart locks being hacked and being locked out of your house or car, etc.” This raised the question of liability; who will victims call for help in these situations? The panel agreed that these problems are too big for any single company or group to manage, so the government should step in to regulate. There are already talks of Departments of Technology Policy which would set legal standards among the states and regulate the IoT industry.

The event culminated with a Q&A which highlighted other cybersecurity trends. Questions covered the topics of companies building out “Red Team Blue Team” concepts and the issue of Attribution. Carvalho noted that the Red/Blue Team concept is used heavily in the financial industry for preventative action, he explains, “we employ red team blue team and incidence response teams to mimic an actual attack & make sure we have the right reactions and infrastructure in place.” On Attribution, Cunningham notes that it will become increasingly complicated to determine what kind of cyber attack will warrant an armed response against that country, and False Flag accusations, will only further complicate the issue of Attribution.