Texas Research Summit: Using Science to Improve Cybersecurity

Nov 2015

The world is moving online at a breakneck speed. In the last eight years, data traffic on AT&T’s mobile networks alone increased a whopping 100,000%. Across the globe, we’re seeing faster internet and a greater proliferation of mobile devices, combined with more and more digital connectivity in health, transportation and retail.

But as more and more of our everyday lives take place online, new threats and dangers have arisen that challenge the ease and convenience of living in a digital world. Credit card hacks, identity theft and spyware wreak havoc on individual consumers, while businesses and governments have to deal with all-out assaults on their servers and networks. Last year, there were nearly 43 million security incidents at businesses, the equivalent of 117,000 attacks a day. These attacks come with a cost, sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars. Prevention also comes at a price: global spending on information security is expected to reach $76.9 billion this year.

The National Science Foundation is helping find answers to these questions by funding research into new and improved encryption techniques that will help make sure the data you send and receive stays secure. (In the video above, the Foundation explains how more scientific research could lead to better encryption.)

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) will host the first Texas Research Summit Friday, November 13, 2015, where prominent Texas researchers will highlight the outstanding research and innovation taking place in Texas in cybersecurity and other areas. Top federal agency officials like Dr. France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation, will describe their research priorities in these fields. (You can read more about the summit here.)

Dr. Krish Prabhu, Chief Technology Officer of AT&T Labs, will give a presentation on cybersecurity and some of the research and innovation taking place at their company and in the sector as a whole. AT&T has focused on helping businesses navigate the threats of the digital world, like building tools to help withstand Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. AT&T has seen these types of attacks on their networks grow over sixty percent in the last two years.

How to secure the digital world is one of the great challenges of our time, and one that must be met with dynamic, intelligent responses that will require the cooperation of federal agencies, academic researchers and industry.


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