Changing technologies will make cyber threats more serious, countries have to come together to face them: Menny Barzilay, Israeli Cyber Security expert
We need to be Chowkidars of our internet: Yaakov Finkelstein, Consul General of Israel in Mumbai
A public lecture and panel discussion on cyber security was held at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai today. The programme was organized by the Centre in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai. Students from various schools in the region attended the event to learn about the nuances of cyber security from experts in the field.
“The world of technology has changed a lot during the last 15 years. Many developments like Instagram, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, automatic cars, etc. have come up which have thrown many new challenges to cyber security experts. We must try to foresee problems.
The Internet was not designed for security; hence it is inherently insecure, as everything is hackable. It is more difficult to be cyber-security personnel than hacker – the hacker has to succeed only once whereas cyber security personnel has to succeed all the time to remain safe, that too while following many rules and regulations.
Smart people from different countries are coming together to commit cybercrimes; we hence need super-smart people from various countries to join as cyber security experts. Cyber threats do not create a sense of urgency in us, since unlike a bomb threat for instance, we cannot feel it with our senses. It therefore becomes relatively more difficult to convince people that the threat is real.” This was stated by Mr. Menny Barzilay, CEO of Cyber Research Centre, Tel Aviv University, CEO of Cytactic and internationally acclaimed cyber security expert, who addressed the gathering via Skype.
Mr. Barzilay also narrated the incident of cyber-attack on Sony Corporation, after release of its film “The Interview”. He said corporations are not prepared to face cyber-attacks by government organisations. Governments have to stand with private corporations during such attacks, he opined.
The speaker added: “Billions of devices becoming part of Internet of Things implies that billions of devices become prone to hacking. Being a smart device means being vulnerable. This will also affect our privacy. Big companies which have a lot of data about users can manipulate them for private gain, something which allegedly has happened in the US elections.”
Consul General of Israel in Mumbai, Mr. Yaakov Finkelstein said, “There is a war going on all around us; it’s a cyber-war, it’s about our well-being, our privacy and safety of our bank accounts. Cyberspace is the new war zone, and we cannot afford to lose even one war. We are all victims here; however, we can each one of us choose to be a fighter or a warrior as well. Our mobiles and our tablets will be our weapons. We need to be Chowkidars of our Internet.”
Ms. Sonali Patankar, a social activist, stressed upon the need to be brave and open about cyber-bullying.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Sachin Bankar informed about the efforts being taken by the state government to fight cyber crimes, including timely interventions taken by the police in saving children facing threats to life.
Dr. Manoj M. Prabhakaran, Vijay & Sita Vashee Chair Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay explained how fighting cybercrime is not possible without changing the very nature of apps like WhatsApp. He noted that efforts to fight cybercrime need to address the tension between freedom of speech and expression on the one hand and platform encryption and user privacy on the other.
Another panelist Shri Ritesh Bhatia informed the students present of the increasing opportunities offered by the field of cyber security. He spoke also about the possibility of machines becoming tools for cybercrimes.
Director, Nehru Science Centre, Shri Shivprasad Khened and Deputy Consul General of Israel in Mumbai, Shri Nimrod Kalmar moderated the function.