Panels feature insight on breaches, smart appliances
February 22, 2018
Santa Clara is getting serious about cybersecurity.
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics recently hosted “Cybersecurity Ethics,” a two-part panel that brought in experts from the industry to discuss their views on the high-tech issue.
The first panel of the Feb. 15 event, “Responding to a Breach,” focused heavily on the ethical dilemmas involved when a data breach occurs, such as when the right time is for a company to disclose the breach their customers.
One panelist, Steve Sigel, Manager of the Data Protection at the Cisco Security & Trust Organization, asked the audience to consider what potential harm can come from a release of information.
The panel also featured David Bradbury, Chief Security Officer at Symantec; Beth George, counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Carin Kaltschmidt, Principal of Ernst & Young LLP.
It was moderated by Brian Patrick Green, who is the director of technology ethics at the Markkula Center and teaches engineering ethics in the Graduate School of Engineering.
Overall, the panelists agreed that cybersecurity is a significant issue and needs more attention from companies who might be breached for their customer’s data.
“Cybersecurity is growing more important and more complicated,” Green said. Bob Owen, CIO and Vice Provost for Information Services at Santa Clara, says the students need to be informed about cybersecurity.
“In 2018, your digital self and your digital ‘stuff’ is everything. Having your digital identity and assets stolen, manipulated, or misappropriated can take years and tens of thousands of dollars to fix,” he said. “Basic cyber security practices like using multi-factor authentication, keeping the OS on your devices updated to the most current versions and not sharing personally identifiable information in emails or texts can go a long way in keeping you safe.”
The second panel, which followed the first, was titled “If You Can’t Secure It, Don’t Connect It,” and focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it is changing the world. IoT refers to the growing number of items that are being connected to the internet. This includes the rising number of household appliances and the increasing presence of automated home assistants such as the Google Home.
Panelist Sri Vasudevan, an Executive Director at EY’s National Advisory Cybersecurity, commented that while there are examples of how the IoT can help benefit the common good, there are also examples of it causing harm. He gave the example of a doll that was sold with a microphone in it, thus allowing for a two-way conversation between the doll and the child. Vasudevan mentioned that no one had really stopped to consider how technology might affect early childhood development.
The panel later shifted to ethics as the panelist discussed the personal information that is being collected by IoT devices. Often, devices in people’s home will be collecting personal information without them knowing, and could potentially be infringing on someone’s rights to privacy.
Other featured panelists included Brian Gin, Director of Legal Services at Cisco and Jeff Klaben, the Chief Information Security Officer for SRI International, who also serves as an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Engineering. The panel was moderated by Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center.
Tiana Nguyen, a freshman computer science major, attended the event because of her interest in cybersecurity as well as her personal desire to expand her knowledge.
“Cybersecurity is an extremely interesting topic, especially when it comes to Internet of Things,” Nguyen said. “It’s important that we stay aware and cautious of what we do with these IoT devices and where it will lead us in the future.”
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