NYIT Helps Fight Cyberspace Invaders

Eric Cole, Ph.D., (B.S. ’93, M.S. ’94) and Dean Nada Anid, Ph.D., of the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. In his keynote address, Cole urged attendees not to wait for the signs of a cyber attack to start protecting their digital assets. “If you’re not seeing them,” he said, “you’re not looking in the right spots.”

To help counter the alarming rise of Internet attacks worldwide, NYIT hosted its first annual Cyber Security Conference on Sept. 15 at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway. Sponsored by the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, the event featured faculty, information technology experts, and government officials who discussed current and future online vulnerabilities, privacy concerns, and how to deal with widespread security breaches with an audience that included security administrators, business executives, and NYIT students.

“The Internet is the spinal cord of 21st-century progress,” said President Guiliano as he welcomed attendees.

“It affects almost every aspect of our lives. In addition, it is also the world’s marketplace, handling $10 trillion in financial transactions annually and serves as the control system for many nations around the world.”

FBI Cyber Squad members share information on the latest Internet attack strategies employed by hackers.

Special agents Jim Capozzi, John Leo, and Chris Tarbell of the FBI’s New York Cyber Squad detailed attacks challenging financial institutions, governments, and organizations, including various spyware, the Zeus botnet attack, and international schemes to recruit students to carry out security breaches.

The conference also featured a keynote address by Eric Cole, Ph.D., (B.S. ’93, M.S. ’94), who was featured in the Fall 2009 issue of NYIT Magazine (“Sentries of the 21st Century”). He serves as chief technology officer of the Americas for McAfee and is involved with the SANS Technology Institute. He discussed how malicious code and attacks are increasing in frequency and in the amount of damage they cause users.

“Today, we are dealing with cyber cancer,” he said. “Years ago, cyber attacks were more like the common cold. Now if you wait for visible signs, it is too late. If you’re not seeing them, you’re not looking in the right spots.”

Internet security expert Bill Cheswick of AT&T Research, who was recognized as one of the top 100 influential IT people in the world by eWeek and is the author of Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker, led the second keynote presentation by identifying the myths of password security used by several high-profile organizations and addressed attacks such as keystroke loggers, phishing schemes, and password database compromise.

Other presentations included sessions about open source standards, protecting and securing IPs (presented by NYIT alumnus Steven Rubin [B.S. ’94]), and a discussion of cloud computing led by Paul Stirpe, Ph.D., of NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Stirpe later moderated a panel discussion featuring leading experts from top global technology firms who explored the security challenges of CEOs, models to make educated decisions in security efforts, the effects of malware, and privacy issues related to social media as well as various issues raised by audience members.

“This is an important, exciting time in cyber security,” said President Guiliano. “Maybe too exciting.”

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