Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit: Reducing the Risks of America’s Cyber Dependencies

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community


Nasir Memon, Moderator
Lecture Series Chairman
Head, Computer Science Department
NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering


Katepalli Sreenivasan
President and Dean
NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
Executive Vice Provost of Science and Technology, NYU

Opening Remarks

Paula J. Olsiewski
Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Lecturer Introduction

Jerry M. Hultin
NYU Senior Presidential Fellow

Distinguished Lecturer

Richard Danzig
Vice Chair, The RAND Corporation

Distinguished Panelists

Ralph Langner
Director and Founder
Langner Communications

Andy Ozment
Assistant Secretary
Office of Cybersecurity and Communications
US Department of Homeland Security

Stefan Savage
Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Director, Center for Network Systems
University of California, San Diego

Closing Remarks

Nasir Memon

Lecture Synopsis: In his Distinguished Lecture, Richard Danzig proposes strategies for coping with a security paradox presented by cyber systems: As digital systems grant us unprecedented powers, they also make us less secure. While their immense communication capabilities enable widescale collaboration and networking, they open doors to unprecedented intrusion. Concentrations of data and manipulative power vastly improve efficiency and scale, but these attributes increase the amount that can be stolen or subverted by successful attack. While we are now empowered to retrieve and manipulate data on our own, this beneficial “democratization” removes a chain of human approvals that served as safeguards. In sum, cyber systems nourish us, but at the same time, they weaken and poison us. Wise strategies, aimed at safeguarding the nation's data storehouse of vital information, must embrace a mix of technical responses, economic and business judgments, and policy choices. Focusing on Federal government vulnerabilities--but noting implications for all users--Dr. Danzig argues that we are not doing nearly as well as we could and recommends several paths to improvement.

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Price: Free