NYIT Cybersecurity Conference Sparks Wide-Ranging Discussion

  • newswise-fullscreen NYIT Cybersecurity Conference Sparks Wide-Ranging Discussion

    Credit: NYIT

    IBM Chief Information Security Officer Shamla Naidoo (left) speaks with Acreto founder & CEO Babak Pasdar at NYIT.

Newswise — New York Institute of Technology’s Ninth Annual Cybersecurity Conference gathered experts and aficionados to discuss the latest cyber developments affecting businesses and individuals. The event took place just days before New York City Economic Development Corporation launched Cyber NYC, a campaign to grow the city’s cybersecurity workforce. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

In a wide-ranging “fireside chat” with Acreto founder and CEO Babak Pasdar, industry keynote Shamla Naidoo, who is the vice president of IT Risk and chief information security officer (CISO) at IBM, talked about the challenges of managing security among IBM’s six hundred thousand employees worldwide. Then, in the day's only solo presentation, James Stanger, chief technology evangelist at CompTIA, gave a plenary address which explained how best to communicate the value of cybersecurity to an organization’s senior management.

Wide-ranging discussions, including audience participation, grew from the conference’s four panels:

Addressing evolving threats. Several participants noted that human error and insider threats are the “weak links” in cybersecurity planning. Marios Damianides, partner in the Advisory Practices of Ernst & Young LLP and Northeast Cyber Security Practice Lead, also brought attention to threats by agents who leapfrog competitors by using stolen intellectual property and financial assets.

The value and vulnerabilities of blockchain technology. Panelists noted cybersecurity vulnerabilities—and solutions—for blockchain applications. Salman Baset, CTO Security of IBM Blockchain Solutions, advocated for an industry-wide information governance agreement to prevent data leakage from blockchains.

Recommended tactics for health-care, energy, and financial services industries. The panel on protecting healthcare, financial, and energy infrastructure data brought out the importance of sharing information among competitors. Frederick J. Harris, head of Data and Technology Risk at Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking, said, “Within the financial services industry, we compete in all areas except cybersecurity. It’s the one area where we cooperate.” Raj Badhwar, senior vice president and CISO at Voya Financial, agreed, saying, “We need to share within and across industries to be resilient against attack.” Protecting data in the health-care sector must include medical devices and implantable technologies. In the energy industry, integrating operations into cybersecurity efforts is essential. All speakers recommended cybersecurity training for employees across all departments.

Educating and supporting cyber defenders. Speakers noted that industry certifications and stackable credentials are very helpful for keeping up on developments. In addition, security professionals depend on “soft skills” like communication and emotional intelligence. The panel also emphasized the need to teach cybersecurity to students in disciplines such as management, law, and psychology.

Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., interim dean of NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, said, “This conference is a forum where professionals and students come together to explore various elements of cybersecurity innovation, thus deepening their knowledge, relationships, and creating enthusiasm for their work.”

NYIT, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, offers ABET-accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science, cybersecurity, and data science and supports cybersecurity research and hands-on training with corporate partners.

The event was organized by NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences and was sponsored by BlackRidge Technology, iconectiv, and CompTIA.

For more information, visit nyit.edu/cybersecurity.

About NYIT

NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 9,000 students at campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury) in New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Vancouver, British Columbia; and in various programs around the world. NYIT sponsors 13 NCAA Division II programs.

NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. More than 100,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT.

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