Dr. James Burrell: A fireside chat about cybersecurity and cyber terrorism, the real threats, and challenges

When: Monday, November 25 at 4:00 pm

Where: Hauck Auditorium, Memorial Union, University of Maine

Dr, James Burrell is the former head of FBI Cyber Security (as in reporting directly to the White House and Director James Comey). He retired in 2016 but is still very active and engaged as a global cybersecurity consultant. Here are some recent statistics to highlight the immensity of the issue.

Daniel Coates, Director of National Intelligence says, “The potential for surprise in the cyber realm will increase in the next year and beyond as billions more digital devices are connected—with relatively little built-in security—and both nation-states and malign actors become more emboldened and better equipped in the use of increasingly widespread cyber toolkits. The risk is growing that some adversaries will conduct cyber attacks—such as data deletion or localized and temporary disruptions of critical infrastructure—against the United States in a crisis short of war.” https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/2018-ATA—Unclassified-SSCI.pdf

“The 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment by the U.S. Intelligence Community highlights the concern that “financially motivated cybercriminals” may target the U.S. within the next few years. They warn that this could “disrupt U.S. critical infrastructure in the health care, financial, government, and emergency service sectors.” Officials are also concerned that terrorists may hack into databases and obtain personal information that could be used to inspire and enable physical attacks. Cyberterrorism is considered the second most critical threat to our country, just behind the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea. Moreover, American military servicemembers assess cyberterrorism to be the greatest danger to U.S. national security. 89% of service members believe that it is a significant or very significant concern, but the majority thinks the U.S. lacks preparedness for a cyberattack. ” https://www.americansecurityproject.org/the-growing-threat-of-cyberterrorism-facing-the-us/

A security company says, ” Cybercriminal activity is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face in the next two decades” ” The cybercrime epidemic has hit the U.S. so hard that a supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigates cyber intrusions told The Wall Street Journal that every American citizen should expect that all of their data (personally identifiable information) has been stolen and is now on the dark web.”    https://www.herjavecgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/CV-HG-2019-Official-Annual-Cybercrime-Report.pdf

A recent news report said, “In an age of ongoing digital transformation, cybercrime has quickly become today’s fastest-growing form of criminal activity. Equally worrying for modern executives, it’s also set to cost businesses $5.2 trillion worldwide within five years, according to Accenture. With 43% of online attacks now aimed at small businesses, a favorite target of high-tech villains, yet only 14% prepared to defend themselves, owners increasingly need to start making high-tech security a top priority, according to network security leaders.” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/13/cyberattacks-cost-small-companies-200k-putting-many-out-of-business.html