CERIAS event to draw top cybersecurity experts, issues-oriented discussions

March 12, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three prominent leaders in the cybersecurity field, including the director of research at the National Security Agency, will be featured speakers at the 16th annual CERIAS Information Security Symposium later this month at Purdue University.

The NSA's Deborah Frincke will join Sam Curry, chief technology and security officer at Arbor Networks, and Michelle Finneran Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer at McAfee/Intel Security, for the March 24-25 event. Registration is underway for the conference led by Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security - CERIAS. Multiple sessions will take place in Stewart Center on campus.

"The CERIAS Symposium annually draws top cybersecurity and privacy experts from industry, academia and government from around the United States," said Joel Rasmus, CERIAS director of strategic relations. "The event is also open to anyone with an interest in information security, including students and IT practitioners. It's one of the few security conferences that has researchers, engineers, practitioners and students all discussing emerging issues and solutions."

Curry will help headline the activities on March 24 with his keynote address at 9:30 a.m. He leads Arbor’s development and implementation efforts in product strategy and innovation. His focus has been largely on intersecting deep technology and solving security and usability problems.

Also on March 24:

* The "Fireside Chat," an annual highlight, has Curry and Frincke joining Eugene H. Spafford, CERIAS executive director, in an open-forum question-and-answer session. "It's a unique opportunity for people to ask questions of some of the brightest minds in cybersecurity and hear their predictions on areas of greatest concerns for the coming year," said Rasmus.

* A panel discussion titled "Advance Persistent Gullibility" will take place in the afternoon and will feature researchers from Sandia National Laboratories, MITRE Corp. and Purdue.

"This is a play on a common term in the cybersecurity industry, 'Advance Persistent Threat,'" Spafford said. "The majority of the problems in our systems today are because people make errors. It’s not because of super high-tech hacking or a computer issue. It’s because someone clicks on something they shouldn't have, or was taken by some phishing scam or social-engineering attack. We'll examine what companies have been doing to help protect the public from itself and where the needs are the greatest or most challenging."

The event will also showcase many of the advanced research projects being managed by Purdue faculty and students, within the focus areas of information assurance, security, privacy and cybercrime. 

"Our annual project poster session is an opportunity for industry to learn about some of the 80-plus infosecurity-oriented projects currently being conducted at Purdue," Spafford said. "And it's an opportunity for our faculty and students to get 'real-world' feedback on their work. This is one of the reasons why CERIAS has been so successful working with industry and the government to address security problems. We work hard to make sure that our work is relevant; performing only research for research-sake doesn't fit with Purdue's land-grant mission."

Frincke and Dennedy, as well as a panel discussion on what people can learn from the security practices of the financial sector, will highlight the symposium's second day on March 25.

Frincke will speak at 9:30 a.m. She has been with the NSA since 2011, when she joined the agency as deputy director of research. She has led the National Cryptologic School and managed a worldwide multiservice military and civilian, corporate-level education and training organization.

The financial sector security panel discussion will feature researchers from SRC, Visa, USBank, the PCI Security Standards Council, and Purdue.

Dennedy will conclude the symposium with her talk at 4:30 p.m. She is co-author of "The Privacy Engineer's Manifesto." At Intel, she is responsible for development and implementation of security data privacy policy and practices. She is founder of the iDennedy Project to address privacy needs in sensitive populations, such as children and the elderly. She also is founder and editor-in-chief of a new media site, TheIdentityProject.com, which focuses on the growing crime of child ID theft.

The tentative full agenda and registration information are available on the CERIAS website. 

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu 

Source: Eugene H. Spafford, 765-494-7825, spaf@purdue.edu 

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