Cyber Criminals Are People, Too
By Ben Rooney, Technology Editor, The Wall Street Journal Europe
The Global Security Challenge summit is, perhaps appropriately, rather hard to find. The postcode takes you to the wrong building, but perhaps that was deliberate. If you can’t find the conference, you probably shouldn’t be at it.
The first speaker is Dr. Lisa Porter, a nuclear engineer and applied physicist. She heads up an organization most people have never heard of, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). Think Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (and the name is no coincidence) but for spooks. Yes — she is Q.
Her speech brought surprising insight into the thought processes of the world’s top counter cyber-terrorism outfits. At heart, cyber security is a human, not a technology problem. Sure it manifests itself through technology, but unless, and until you realise that humans are at the heart of it, you are never going to crack it.
What does this mean? It means she doesn’t just hire computer geeks — “not just, ‘oh, you brought electronic engineers and computer scientists’” — she hires human scientists and even sociologists: “We can’t claim to understand the system we are trying to tackle until we understand the human component. Now that should be very obvious, but I don’t think we are doing a very good job of that right now.”
NSA Highlights Papers by MC2 Researchers
Cybersecurity Is All a Game for Two ACES Students
Hicks Featured on Security Podcast
MC2 Cybersecurity Education Featured in U.S. News and World Report
MC2 Director Katz Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee on Investing in Cybersecurity
Shi, Papamanthou Win Invention of the Year Award
International Visitors Discuss Best Practices in Cybersecurity, Women in Computing
Jan Plane Wins Women in Technology Leadership Award
ACES Cybersecurity Honors Program Featured on Front Page of WSJ
UMD Hosts 3rd Cybersecurity and Cybersafety Workshop for Girls
November 15, 2010