Thompson & Knight Hosts Cybersecurity Roundtable with former White Hat Hacker

Posted by Craig CarpenterThompson & Knight’s January cybersecurity roundtable featured patent attorney, former government white hat hacker and frequent cybersecurity author Kelce Wilson, Ph.D., who provided invaluable insight regarding the current threat landscape and how hackers approach cybersecurity.Dr. Wilson described the inherent vulnerabilities in computer systems and mobile devices and the security dilemma facing companies today. He provided examples of how hackers today find, target and exploit their victims. As hackers become better motivated and funded, Dr. Wilson explained that the hacks are becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect. And while the only completely secure computer is one that is “turned-off, un-plugged, and melted down,” Dr. Wilson provided some guidance for companies to try to avoid being easy targets. Dr. Wilson stressed the importance of “diffusing protection throughout the payload,” meaning that security must be built in throughout the system or program, not just added as an additional layer. He explained that software security is only part of the picture and is left vulnerable if there is no hardware security underneath. Dr. Wilson described the difference between network attacks on remote computers, which we hear about all the time on the news, and the potentially more damaging application or combination attacks, in which tampering or reverse engineering creates and maintains network vulnerabilities. It is not possible to prevent attacks, but by driving up the difficulty and diverting attackers away for key assets, companies can mitigate the damages from a given attack.Based on Dr. Wilson’s analysis, it is clear that companies with valuable digital assets (if not all companies) must make cybersecurity a priority. And while companies must individually choose what and how much cybersecurity protection works for them using their own cost/benefit analysis, companies can no longer ignore the threat or pretend that it will not happen to them.Thompson & Knight regularly hosts roundtable discussions on a myriad of cybersecurity and data privacy-related topics. To check out upcoming events, click here.