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Cybersecurity expert and UD alumnus Dave DeWalt (EG 86) joined the National Agenda program on September 26 with a conversation about stronger cybersecurity in America.
By Charles J. Mays, Graduate Fellow for the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication
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September 26, 2018―In the second event of the National Agenda 2018 speaker series, UD alumnus David DeWalt (EG 86) urged Americans to focus more attention on cybersecurity. The noted tech executive and cybersecurity expert David DeWalt spoke about the importance of identity monitoring, privacy, and filling the current gender gap in the cybersecurity industry.
DeWalt's talk comes at an opportune time given the national concern over online security amid fears of hacking and news about social media networks being breached. DeWalt told the audience that one of the best things we can do is to practice "good hygiene" online and make sure to take additional authentication steps to keep accounts safe. DeWalt joked that essentially there are 55 states in the U.S.―the 50 states that make up the country and then the five biggest tech companies including Apple and Google that we trust with all of our private data.
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Dave DeWalt (left) and National Agenda director and moderator Lindsay Hoffman discussed the importance of stronger cybersecurity in America for the National Agenda 2018 "Midterm Matters" speaker series.
DeWalt noted that although $100 billion has been spent investing in cybersecurity companies themselves, advancements in cyber defenses have been minimal and cybersecurity companies are still vulnerable to attacks. Unfortunately, this means cyber criminals have become increasingly effective. Having mentioned cyber hygiene, DeWalt offered three important steps he believes can keep most individuals safe. First, monitor your identity and your accounts. Second, is authentication―use the 2-factor process, even if it takes a few seconds longer. Lastly, secure your home internet router. DeWalt also mentioned that the fight between security and privacy will involve a little give and take because strong security measures will involve giving up some privacy.
Cybersecurity expert and UD alumnus Dave DeWalt (EG 86) spoke with students in the National Agenda class on September 26, 2018.
DeWalt spoke about prospects for the future and some interesting predictions about society. He suggested that soon we may see the loss of paper money as more and more individuals and companies race towards virtual currencies. Of course, he also noted this would raise even more concerns about security and the need for solid authentication measures for accounts. He spoke about the importance of a good computer science and cybersecurity education as a foundation for everyone. He said that more women need to enter cybersecurity as they currently only make up 11 percent of the field.
The eighth annual National Agenda speaker series, hosted by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication, brings nationally known speakers to campus. This year's theme, "Midterm Matters," explores how issues affect midterm elections and why voter and civic engagement is important. National Agenda is free and open to the public and made possible with support from the University of Delaware Office of the Provost. For more information, please visit www.cpc.udel.edu/nationalagenda.