To view this year’s speakers and their presentations, click HERE!
The threat of cybercrime is constantly evolving, targeting citizens, industry and government. In 2016 alone, numerous companies and hospitals were hit with ransomware like Cryptolocker which encrypts local files that cannot be decrypted without paying the attacker in order to remove the infection. Companies also continued to report serious attacks by hackers to compromise end user accounts like Yahoo, which reported in 2016 that hackers compromised more than 500 million user accounts. Even the Democratic National Committee suffered a series of embarrassing hacks that led to the loss of emails and documents that were eventually published online by Wikileaks.
The diverse landscape of attacks and security threats posed by cybercriminals demands a complex and ever-changing response from security professionals and law enforcement. The knowledge developed by academics and scholars can greatly assist in the development of policies and procedures to improve the state of cybersecurity through a nuanced understanding of the practices of cybercriminals, as well as the social and behavioral drivers that lead individuals to target specific resources. Scholars, practitioners, and policy makers from around the world convened at the fourth annual Michigan State University Conference on Cybercrime, held Thursday and Friday March 2nd and 3rd, 2017, to discuss their research on these issues. Over 170 people attended the conference from across the Midwest region from various industry sectors and law enforcement, which was held for the first time at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.
This year’s event was funded by multiple generous industry sponsors from across the region, including our Titanium supporter, Consumers Energy Foundation. Platinum sponsors for 2017 included PNC Bank and Delphi Corporation, while Gold sponsors were Jackson National Life Insurance Company and the MSU-CIBER program in the Broad College of Business. There were two Silver sponsors, Delta Dental and MSUFCU. Finally our Bronze sponsor for the conference was the MSU Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. We would not be able to hold this event without their assistance, and we thank them for their role in promoting the value of cybersecurity education and awareness across the state. Additionally, we thank the MSU Foundation for its support in fundraising for this year’s conference.
This year’s event expanded on previous years’ offerings, with the theme of linking the human and machine to secure cyberspace. Presentations focused on how either technical or social solutions are needed to improve the cybersecurity postures of organizations and individuals alike. The first day’s events began with an introduction from the mayor of East Lansing, Mark Meadows, and the state of Michigan’s Chief Technology Officer, Rod Davenport. Presenters focused on the diversity of threats, such as Dr. Tom Hyslip’s presentation on the customers of DDoS attack service providers, as well as Francesca Bosco’s discussion of the range of attacks experienced across various European infrastructure from electrical grids to corporate databases. An excellent presentation on the role of cyberinsurance by Dr. Ranjan Pal from USC led to interesting discussion on the role of insurance in a broader security framework by Tim Hudok, the Enterprise Threat and Vulnerability Management program lead at Jackson National Life Insurance. Excellent presentations were also given on the threats to the energy sector by Jim Beechey, the Executive Director of Security for Consumers Energy and finance from Chris Patterson, a Vice President and Treasury Consultant at PNC Bank.
The second day continued on these themes, and began with greetings from the MSU President Lou Anna Simon and Dean of the College of Social Science Rachel Croson. Scott McCormick, President of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association, gave an overview of issues in securing vehicles from external and internal threats, and sparked lively discussion on how these issues could be resolved moving forward. Similarly, Dev Ollam from the CORE Group gave an excellent overview of the ways that physical security features could be defeated, and how to better defend them. Both Tim Mielack, the Chief Information Security Officer of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, and Rob McCurdy, the Interim Chief Information Officer for Michigan State University gave excellent discussions on strategies to secure organizations from cyberthreats. Sam Dowling, the head of the Cyber Crime Research Team in the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism and Analysis Unit at the UK Home Office provided an interesting overview on the ways that the UK is responding to economic cyberthreats and hacker activities.
We cannot thank our excellent presenters and sponsors enough for another wonderful conference. We must also thank those in attendance for their participation and engagement through the days’ events. The School of Criminal Justice has begun planning for the 2018 meeting, and looks forward to another wonderful event. If you would like more information about the event, or are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Tom Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 517-353-9563.