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Week 3 - The Future of Cybersecurity at CSUN

The Future of Cybersecurity at CSUN

The future of cybersecurity is tightly connected to the future of information technology. Today, most of the critical systems at CSUN are interconnected and driven by computers. In the future, this connection will be even tighter. More decisions will be automated. Our personal lives, if they aren’t already, will be reliant on virtual assistants and Internet of Things devices will be a part of almost every function of our daily lives. Virtually all of CSUN’s data will reside in cloud computing, where we don’t fully control the dataflow and access to information. The complexity and connectivity of these systems directly impacts their level of vulnerability. Financially driven criminal groups will continue to seek ways to monetize cyber-attacks; hacktivists will use hacking to convey their messages; terrorist groups will use cyber space and finally – hackers who want to demonstrate their hacking skills, will also contribute to the attacker ecosystem.

The Now

Predicting the exact nature of future threats and how to combat them is difficult. A new study from The Internet Society (ISOC) offers insight into the future of cyber threats. ISOC was founded by two Internet pioneers: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, “to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.” Last month they released the Paths to our Digital Future report, which sheds light on the future of cyber threats.

Here are some of the issues the report raises:

  1. The reports states that it expects governmental and regulatory policies to continue to be counterproductive. Technologies used internet wide and also in cyber defense such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and blockchain will further stress government law making.  
  2. As cyber security threats and complexity increase, so do the resources needed to respond to them. This creates a security divide where some higher education institutions won’t be capable of dealing properly with threats.
  3. IoT impacts security and IoT will not only increase the risk of attacks, but potentially also the severity of the attacks as they connect to the physical world.
  4. Finally the report suggests that in order for the Internet to remain safe it may become less easy to use. Users today complain about some basic security measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption so it’s reasonable to question whether future security measures make the internet less easy to use.

The Future

  • To adapt, CSUN’s Cyber security defense systems will need to become more sophisticated. Cyber defense systems need to be able to act in real time. We will rely on more artificial intelligence to help us make information security decisions.
  • CSUN also needs to educate the next generation of cyber experts who know how to develop and drive those systems.
  • Last but not least, we will need to shield all CSUN systems including electric supply, phones and water supply. In other words everything around us. CSUN will need to guard their data on their own servers, on their cloud servers, on our personal computers, and even on our mobile devices. We can have the most secure data center, but if our data leaks through a cloud provider or a mobile device, we become vulnerable.

Keeping ourselves cyber secure will become as commonplace today as locking our doors at night, putting on our seatbelts when driving, and using a helmet when riding a bicycle. In the near future, the same level of awareness must be given to ensure we are also digitally secure.

CSUN is constantly adding to its cyber defense strategy and toolkit. In the future, some near and some distant, you will see the following added to CSUN’s cyber defense:

  1. Confidential Box – this will be a hardened cloud storage for Level 1 documents
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication – this will become part of CSUN’s authentication to increase our level of assurance
  3. Micro Segmented Network – each device and individual will only see what they need to see on the network
  4. Machine Learning Threat Analysis and Prevention – this will alert us and take action of any anomalies in our network, cloud storage and data center

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