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Seminar:  The need for science and engineering disciplines to move the information protection field forward

Date:February 11, 2013 
Talk Title:The need for science and engineering disciplines to move the information protection field forward
Speaker:Fred Cohen, President of California Sciences Institute and CEO of a Federal contractor and a private consulting company
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
CIC Building, Pittsburgh


Information protection today is largely a folk art, full of urban legends, olde wives tales, and magical formulas that have no basis in objective reality. To make progress, this must change. If history tells us anything, it's that science and engineering develop with the introduction of systematic approaches to understanding reality.

Information protection, as a discipline, is composed of components from a wide range of other disciplines. As such, we need not only to work on the easy things (called the hard sciences), but also the hard things (called the soft sciences), and that is what this talk is about. Focused ultimately on the development of information physics, a set of streams of historical lines of thought will be fused across a wide range of disciplines to provide a rich tapestry upon which the emerging science will be revealed. Or not...

Speaker Bio

Dr. Cohen started in information protection the 1960s in grade school, where he spent spare time with Project Solo students, did systems administration, and less formal tasks in computer labs at the University of Pittsburgh. By the time he graduated from C-MU in 1977, he had supported research into secure protocols for digital networks, performed systems administration on all manner of computer systems and networks, operated computers on the ARPA-net, and designed security hardware mechanisms. While working his way through graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh and then the University of Southern California, he started working on digital life forms, and he is well known for his seminal work on computer viruses. Over the following 30 years, he also did early work in critical infrastructure protection, information assurance, risk aggregation, deception for protection, and digital forensics. As a principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the late 1990s, he started and led the College Cyber Defenders program, led a team of 35 researchers and developers on advanced security technologies, performed National Technical Baseline Studies, and worked for Federal and critical infrastructure providers as well as large critical enterprises. He joined Burton Group in the early 2000s as principal analyst and led the development of their reference architecture and security and risk management strategies practice. He continued to do consulting for Burton and independent clients throughout the 2000s, as he does today, and has designed, implemented, and operated Internet servers, systems, and infrastructure since the mid-1990s. Fred is an (ISC)2 Fellow, a Senior member of the IEEE, and a Certified Digital Forensics Practitioner, President of California Sciences Institute, and CEO of a Federal contractor and a private consulting company.