Cyber: How Risky is it, Really?

Cyber: How Risky is it, Really?

Fall 2020 Insurtech and Entrepreneurial Seminar

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 8:00 PM (CST)

Speaker: Dr. Chad Spensky (Allthenticate)

Abstract: The news is filled with articles about data breaches and mindbending hacks.  Similarly, cybersecurity defenses, many of which are quite expensive, are touted as necessary for any business these days, as is cybersecurity insurance.  Yet, it is frequently unclear how big of risk companies are actually facing.  More precisely, what is the likelihood that your company will be targeted by a cyber attack?  If it is, and they are successful, how much financial damage can they do?  Or, maybe you are wondering the more obvious question, “what is a cyber-attack?”  Throughout my career, I have been a blackhat hacker, a cybersecurity researcher, and am now the CEO of a security company.  Wearing these various hats has given me a unique insight into this field and the problems that face modern businesses and individuals.  In this talk, I will first explain what a cyber attack is, and then attempt to quantify how difficult (and thus likely) specific attacks are.  The goal of this talk is to provide the necessary technical background to anyone that is thinking about the higher-level cyber questions (e.g., “Should I buy cyber insurance?” or “How likely is it that an attack can dump our customer database?”), and provide them with the knowledge required to reason about this growing threat in a rational, informed way.

Speaker’s Biography: Founder and CEO of Allthenticate. Chad is a computer security researcher, entrepreneur, and educator who is passionate about using technology to make people‚Äôs lives easier and their digital systems more secure. Chad has over 10 years of research experience and is a lifetime hacker. Formerly, he was a member of the technical research staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he helped them solve some of the Department of Defense’s toughest cyber-security problems. Chad received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2020 and is also a recipient of the prestigious IBM PhD Fellowship. As a hacker and capture the flag player himself, he is well aware of how attackers think and believes that it takes a great offense to build a solid defense.