Cyber Security, a Hot Topic in New York City

Guard your information on the internet, in the same manner you would safeguard your wallet or pocketbook. – TCI College instructor, Paul Carr

 Wednesday, June 10, 2015 – Cyber criminals often develop a lifetime career to develop a particular skill, such as doing email hacks or going after retailers, according to panelists at the MarketplaceLIVE conference. During the conference, speakers covered topics including peering networks and cloud services.

The session on “Cyber Security: The Risks, Threats & the Future” presented material that would be of particular interest to students in the Security Services & Management program at TCI College of Technology. In the summer 2015 semester, the Security Services program includes online courses* in Retail Security Systems, Emergency Management, Fundamentals of Homeland Security, and Essentials of Cybercrime Security. 

Cyber Security TCI College of Technology

The featured speakers on the Cyber Security Panel included Dr. Augustine Fou, Independent Ad Fraud Researcher and Digital Consigliere, John Bandler, Assistant District Attorney at the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, Adam Cohen, Managing Director at the Berkeley Research Group, Dan Wolfe, VP of Information Technology at TELX, and Timothy P. Ryan, Managing Director of Cyber Security at Kroll.

According to Paul Carr, instructor at TCI College in the Division of Business and Legal Studies, cybercrime is a prevalent issue that can impact anyone: 

“While the internet has the potential to be a great learning tool, it has become a haven for cyber-criminals looking to steal your confidential information and pedophiles seeking to victimize your children. Guard your information on the internet, in the same manner you would safeguard your wallet or pocketbook. You would never leave your children alone in Times Square; never leave them alone when they access their computers.”

The panelists emphasized that rapidly changing technology goes hand in hand with increased threats to security. New networks result in potential loopholes that cyber criminals are quick to target. According to Adam Cohen, “The world has become more complex with regulatory activity [and] the lawsuits you hear about these data breaches.” Massive data security issues can result in class action lawsuits. Students in the Paralegal program at TCI College learn to understand court cases and the essentials of case management. 

John Bandler says that data breaches happen every day, and that these breaches have been occurring rampantly for over 10 years, but it is only recently that we are hearing about them daily due to breach disclosure requirements.  In one case that Bandler worked with the Secret Service, they examined the global trafficking of stolen data and the use of digital currency which centered around a Manhattan digital currency exchanger (Western Express) and its cybercriminal customers.  Eighteen defendants were indicted, including five overseas defendants, and search warrants and arrests were effected in multiple states and countries.  Notable among the defendants was Egor Shevelev, a Ukrainian national who was arrested while vacationing in Greece, extradited to New York, and ultimately convicted after a trial in 2013 for trafficking over 75,000 stolen credit card numbers, conducting millions of dollars of fraud, and laundering over $600,000 in criminal profits through Western Express.

Another kind of cybercrime includes advertising fraud, such as bots that click ads to cause advertisers to pay for false clicks. According to Dr. Augustine Fou, “Sophisticated bad guys are good enough not to get caught.” Sometimes malware is not easy to detect, and the cyber criminals disguise their bots so that it looks like their software is Internet Explorer or Safari that may be close to impossible to detect. “The nature of threats are different, so the nature of the solutions will also need to be different,” says Fou.

Tim Ryan gave an example of a laptop from an employee that infected an operating room diagnostic machine in a medical facilities. With the Internet of Things, this could mean more deadly “virtual” viruses. A malware infected thumb drive could spread through an entire network, or a hacker who gets into an autonomous vehicle could cause sudden stops or adjust controls to crash into an accident.

Particularly when dealing with health and financial data, viruses that destroy data can be a high risk. A worrisome trend is that hackers are destroying servers in the process of stealing information. Dan Wolfe also describes another disturbing trend that threatens industrial control centers, such as utility companies. When hackers can turn off your lights, see your GPS tracker, or get in through wireless key entry, then cybercrime situations may result in loss of life.

As technologies continue to change, keeping up to speed with the latest trends will be key to protection. As threats seem to be outpacing the law, training needs to be part of the solution. Companies and governments that are aware of the risks continue to focus on mitigating threats and creating faster response mechanisms. As cyber criminals develop specialties and focus on work that could land them in jail, college students may want to consider a career in fighting these criminals to protect lives, jobs, and reputations.

Interested in learning more about TCI College’s Security Services and Management courses, Paralegal Studies, or other programs? Click here to learn more about TCI’s programs. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook!

*There are no fully online programs offered at TCI College, although some classes are available as online only or as hybrid courses with half of the sessions completed online and the other half conducted in class room settings.

Fast Facts about TCI College

  • Founded in 1909 by Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi
  • Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Ranked among the top three engineering-related two-year degree colleges by Community College Week
  • Small average class size (20 students) allows hands-on learning
  • 94% of TCI College students received financial aid assistance
  • Students hail from more than 80 different countries
  • Conveniently located across from Penn Station
  • Lifetime use of Center for Career & Professional Development
  • Access to Student Support Services