Cyber security experts gathered at UWS Ayr Campus on Tuesday to inform students of the dangers posed by hackers and online viruses in the digital world.
Phil Taylor of Palo Alto Networks was accompanied by Steven Wallace of FullProxy in a seminar for journalism students, providing industry insight on cyber security threats and how to defend against them.
Taylor, a Security Network Engineer, spoke extensively about threats posed online by malware- a technical term used for any ‘malicious software’ online. He feels he is able to maintain people’s trust in technology through establishing a good reputation when it comes to a systems defence: “Credibility is everything. You can’t just sell something to a customer and expect everything to be rosey all the time…
“Every time we go into a situation with a new a new customer we have to start at the beginning, we have to build up trust”.
Taylor believes there are basic ways in which everyone can combat malware in everyday life, stating: “Password security. Make sure you have different passwords and 2FA across all your different systems… Threats and adversaries go after low-hanging fruit. They will go after the weakest link in the chain, so don’t be that link.
“It is very easy to improve your security posture by saying ‘all my passwords are different’… ‘I don’t click on emails when I don’t know who it is from, I don’t share my details with other people. Ultimately it is about common sense”.
Wallace deals with the commercial side of cyber security, advising blue chip companies on the latest threats to software and the tools available to defend against them. Speaking to the UWS students, Wallace illustrated that the bigger the organisation, the more at risk they are of an attack; “It’s an ego thing for a hacker… the bigger the brand the bigger the target”.