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The Threat Landscape: Cybersecurity and Emerging Tech Change the Playing Field

Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected as more devices and machines rely on the Internet. This provides numerous benefits to both society and businesses, and it allows people to connect in ways not possible before.

But it also provides opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit these connections, as seen during the coronavirus pandemic. Threat actors increasingly used this ever-expanding attack surface to target individuals and employees working remotely to gain access to corporate networks and valuable data.

In March 2020, the FBI issued an announcement to warn the public that it had seen an increase in scammers leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau advised citizens to be on the lookout for fake emails from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness (CDC) claiming to offer information on the virus, including links and attachments. (See “How Cyber Criminals Use Coronavirus Scams to Target Victims,” Security Management, June 2020.)

The FBI also encouraged everyone to use good cyber hygiene to protect themselves and stop criminal activity—sentiments that have been echoed by others.

“As remote working surges in the face of the global pandemic, end-to-end security from the cloud to employee laptop becomes paramount,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business, in a press release. “In addition to protecting their systems from attack, we urge all businesses to continue employee education as phishing schemes become increasingly sophisticated and malicious.”

On Thursday at GSX+, education sessions and speakers will focus on the theme of “Innovation and the Cyber Landscape.” In her keynote remarks, Keren Elazari—a former hacker turned cybersecurity expert—will take attendees through the world of cybersecurity from a hacker’s perspective. She shares how cybersecurity is no longer about protecting secrets, but is instead about securing our way of life—from transportation systems to medical devices to global markets to political campaigns.

Following Elazari’s remarks, two cyber experts from Deloitte will discuss the new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Privacy Framework. This voluntary tool is designed to help organizations identify and manage privacy risk in a way that maintains individuals’ privacy while strengthening the enterprise.

Andrea Koehler, senior manager, advisory, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and David Feeney, CPP, manager, advisory, Deloitte, will share how the Privacy Framework and NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework share a similar structure, and how both can be adopted in correlation with the enterprise security risk management (ESRM) framework.

Also on the agenda for Thursday is a session that focuses on social media and how security professionals can leverage open source tools to conduct investigations. In “Social Media Investigations: Go Beyond the Big Sites,” Edward Ajaeb, founder and president of Nighthawk Strategies, will review social media intelligence collection techniques and share case studies of how these tools can be applied for security monitoring, fugitive recoveries, asset locating, background checks, and more.

Over in the D3 Xperience, a panel will discuss how robotics are revolutionizing traditional approaches to security. Panel participants—all leaders in the unmanned robotics arena—will take a look at both ground-based robots and drones and the roles they can play in enterprise security.

Other cybersecurity and innovation focused sessions throughout the day will touch on artificial intelligence, cyber warfare in a post-COVID-19 world, and securing remote workers. For more information, check out the educational line-up at