The Edward V. Badolato Homeland Security Speaker Series held its most recent event on Friday September 7, 2012. The theme of the event was “When Bad Things Happen to Computer Networks: A demonstration of how hackers break in to computer systems, and what we can all do to reduce our risks.”

Dr. Mike O’Leary, Director of TU’s School of Emerging Technologies (SET), gave the keynote address. In addition to being a professor and center director, Dr. O’Leary also coaches the TU Cyber Defense Team.  So, it was no surprise that Dr. O’Leary has a wealth of knowledge about computer security and had a lot of information to offer for this event. For his presentation, he performed a live hack of a computer system in front of the audience and showed the steps that can be taken to stop such attacks. It was a fun and interactive presentation that the audience really enjoyed. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the information he provided related to protecting your passwords.  He recommended using Password Safe which is open source software.

Dr. Mike O’Leary

Dr. Mike O’Leary presents at the Badolato Homeland Security Speaker Series event

If you are interested in keeping up to date with Dr. O’Leary and learning more about his tips and tools check out his blog.

We had a great crowd made up of students, TU faculty and staff members, and IT professionals from around the Baltimore area for this event. I think that everyone learned a lot and came out of the event with some new knowledge about the risks that we and our computer systems face on a daily basis.