SOUTH KINGSTOWN- Researchers, business executives, government and military officials gathered at URI on Monday to discuss strategies for protecting the flow of information in the cyber world and identifying potential threats. Information systems across the country are penetrated by hackers daily, exposing citizens, businesses, and governmental agencies to dangerous breaches of security.
â€śWe have collectively a number of challenges to overcome if we are to build the kind of security our citizens need,â€ť said URI President David M. Dooley.
Every facet of our daily lives is underscored by the transportation of digital information. Banking is conducted wholly through electronic databases. We can purchase anything online, from books to boat motors, through Pay Pal and other payment processing tools. Such data collection platforms store our private financial and identity information. All are susceptible to the attacks of cyber criminals, and 9 million people have their identity stolen every year.
The impact of the explosion in social media platforms such as Twitter and Skype has most recently played out in the publicly driven revolutions in the Middle East and Africa. Yet individuals around the world use these programs to detail significant amounts of private data which can be easily hacked.
â€śI recently attended an assembly with 230 eighth-graders, and when I asked how many of them had a Facebook page, almost every hand shot up,â€ť said Congressman James Langevin, a member of the U.S. House Armed Services and co-chair of the Cybersecurity Caucus. Because of this shift in our society serious new vulnerabilities have emerged.â€ť
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