13 must-watch TED Talks on cyber security
TED Talks offers hundreds of lectures on almost any topic, from business transformation and artificial intelligence to graphic design and education.
But with cyber security already a well-established concern for businesses, we've compiled a list of the best TED Talks addressing cyber security aimed at security professionals (and the aspiring).
This list will continue to be updated so if we've missed your favourite TED Talk, let us know.
Here are the best TED Talks for cyber security professionals...
1. TED Talks for security professionals: Governments don't understand cyber warfare. We need hackers
Previously a consultant in the finance and technology sector, Rodrigo Bijou is currently an information security researcher specialising in intelligence, data science and information security.
In this talk, Rodrigo Bijou discusses mass surveillance, the digital landscape and its link to the recruitment and radicalisation of terrorists. Bijou calls for more to be done, for backdoors to be closed and mass surveillance ended.
2. TED Talks for security professionals: What’s wrong with your pa$$w0rd?
Lorrie Faith Cranor is Associate Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Cranor focuses mainly on online privacy, usable security, phishing and spam.
In this TED Talks Lorrie Faith Cranor examines the results of a study on people's passwords. Cranor highlights common mistakes and what a hacker must do in order to retrieve a password.
3. TED Talks for security professionals: A vision of crimes in the future
Marc Goodman is recognised as a Global Security Futurist and is head of the Future Crimes Institute. Goodman has a particular interest in robotics, artificial intelligence and social data.
In this talk Marc Goodman offers his thoughts on the world becoming a more open, and dangerous place.
4. TED Talks for security professionals: Hackers: the Internet's immune system
Keren Elazari is a GigaOM analyst and cyber security expert that supports and actively pushes the movement of hackers being seen as forces for good, rather than an enemy of the state.
In this talk Keren Elazari explores the world of hackers, arguing that hackers should be embraced and used to spot vulnerabilities and fix them rather than exploit them. According to Elazari, hackers have the power to create a safer world.
5. TED Talks for security professionals: The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare
Chris Domas is an embedded systems engineer and cybersecurity researcher at Battelle Memorial Institute. Domas specialises in reverse engineering, vulnerability analysis and device manipulation.
In this talk, Chris Domas highlights how security researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering to interpret code.
6. TED Talks for security professionals: Hire the hackers!
Misha Glenny is an underworld investigator and author. Glenny focuses on global organised crime and pays particular attention to cyber crime.
This talk has Misha Glenny highlighting the need for hackers and asks who are the people that have infiltrated so many companies. This TED Talk was recorded in 2011, the year the Anonymous Group gained global notoriety for hacking into Fox News' Twitter account and announcing the 'breaking news' that Barack Obama had been assassinated.
7. TED Talks for security professionals: All your devices can be hacked
Avi Rubin is a professor of computer science and director of the Health and Medical Security Lab at Johns Hopkins University. He specialises on the security practices held within voting and medical records.
Avi Rubin highlights how vulnerable we are to hacker and how no electrical device is really 'safe'. While filmed in 2011, the threads described are not only apparent but also highlight the nature of the hack-able world we live in. This talk provides insight into what we thought and how we reacted to hackers five years ago.
8. TED Talks for security professionals: Where is cybercrime really coming from?
In this miniature lecture, IBM security VP Caleb Barlow examines the failing of current strategies for protecting data from cybercrime. He sets out just why sharing information across industries is vital to tackle the problem that's damaging businesses to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
9. TED Talks for security professionals: Fighting viruses, defending the net
F-Secure security analyst Mikko Hypponen details the rise of the computer virus, from its relatively benign beginnings as annoying and disruptive code to the severe risk malware now poses to the internet itself and all other walks of life. In this entertaining talk, Hypponen traces the creators of the first known PC virus – Brain.A – and tracks down its creators from the original code to the street where they still live in Pakistan.
10. TED Talks for security professionals: Your smartphone is a civil rights issue
Privacy advocate Christopher Soghoain compares the security between Apple and Android smartphones, one that does security by default and another that doesn’t. He calls the dominance of Android a “digital security divide”.
“There is now increasingly a gap between the privacy and security of the rich, who can afford devices that secure their data by default, and of the poor, whose devices do very little to protect them by default,” he says.
Soghoian goes on to say that this divide could be considered a civil rights problem – noting that modern social movements depend on technology. “The organisers of these movements and the members of these movements increasingly communicate and coordinate with smartphones,” he says. “So naturally governments that feel threatened by these movements will also target the organisers and their smartphones.”
11. TED Talks for security professionals: How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust – time to act
In this brief talk in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen talks about just how serious the repercussions of the NSA’s global surveillance dragnet are. He suggests that to protect privacy online, the world needs to look outside of America.
“Maybe they think surveillance is OK because they have nothing to hide,” Hypponen says. “But whoever tells you they have nothing to hide simply hasn’t thought about this enough. Because we have this thing called privacy, and if you really think you have nothing to hide please make sure that’s the first thing you tell me – because then I know that I shouldn’t trust you with any secrets.”
12. TED Talks for security professionals: How Cyberattacks Threaten World Peace
Independent cyber warfare analyst Guy-Philippe Goldstein examines the complexities of the real-world impacts that cyber attacks directed between nation states will have. In the 2000s, the trend shifted from a defensive position into an offensive position on cyber warfare.
Goldstein goes into some detail about the differences between cyber weapons and conventional warfare – in particular that problems inherent of correctly attributing the attacks.
13. TED Talks for security professionals: Everyday cybercrime – and what you can do about it
Although this video is a touch dated – it's from 2013 – it’s still a good watch, with global head of security for Sophos James Lyne exposing just how simple it is to gain access to information about complete strangers.
Lyne demonstrates what remote hacking attacks look like and how the victim would often be none the wiser, sets out the booming malware black market, pays a company to DDoS his own website, and traces the creators of the Koobface malware gang, an international effort to track down the operators of the infamous Koobface botnet.
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