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The Dartmouth-Durham Global Debate – Cyber Security in today’s digital society

The latest in the series of Global Debates saw the Business School and Dartmouth College working together to deliver two significant debates on the subject of cyber security in last week. The first event took place on 11 December at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC and the second on 13 December at the Academy of Sciences, New York.

The events showcased the future cyber landscape and discussed how organisations and governments can implement best processes and structures to ensure a coordinated cyber resilience strategy.

In today's digital world, organisations and government face cyber-attacks. Ransomware, hacking of personal information and cyber-attacks on government agencies have been dominating global news. As a result, academic researchers, governments and other organisations have been attempting to develop robust systems to ensure that all forms of digital assets can be protected from cyber-attacks.

The two debates in the USA allowed researchers from Dartmouth and Durham to share their research into the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning on processing potential threats in a cost-effective manner; and highlight the importance of cyber security in today's digital society. There was a focus on developing robust systems for reducing the risk of cyber-attacks and faculty staff from both institutions were joined by representatives from governments, cybersecurity firms and businesses who are developing and using these systems.

Former FBI Chief Technology Officer Wayne Chung delivered a powerful presentation at the Washington DC debate and was joined by; Alex Kott, Chief Scientist at the US Army Research Lab;

Ranjeev Mittu, Branch Head, Information Management and Decision Architectures with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory; and Professor David Pym, Professor of Information, Logic, and Security at University College London, Head of Programming Principles, Logic, and Verification (PPLV) for the Alan Turing Institute. The Washington event was brought to a close by Dartmouth College President Phillip Hanlon before all attendees were invited to join the speakers at a networking reception.

 At the debate in New York, Andrew Tannenbaum, Global Head of Cyber, Data, and Intellectual Property Legal at Barclays presented a thought-provoking keynote address and was followed by equally informative sessions delivered by; Charles Blauner, Global Head of Information Security at Citi (Ret.); Deb Snyder, Cyber Strategist and former Chief Information Security Officer at New York State; Jay Leek, Managing Director with ClearSky Security; Prithviraj Dasgupta, Computer Engineer with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory; and Ankur Jindal, Global Head Corporate Venturing and Innovation at Tata Telecommunications.

Professor Kiran Fernandes, Associate Dean of Internationalisation, and Professor Julian Williams, Head of Quantitative Research in the Quantitative Research in Financial Economics research centre, represented the Business School at both debates.

Professor Fernandes said: “These debates have shown us how Durham’s research in the area of audit and investment in risk mitigation coupled with Dartmouth’s research in the detection of bots on social media platforms can collaboratively help businesses and governments be prepared to protect digital assets from the threat of cybercrime. It is worth noting that this can be done without having to compromise on innovation and creativity and do so at a reasonable price.” 

The Dartmouth-Durham Global Debates proved successful with over 100 delegates attending over two days and representing banking, computing, communications, consultancy, defence, education, energy, legal and government sectors.

Planning for further debates is underway and they will be announced in due course.

For further information on future events, please visit