Collective Intelligence

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 15, 2018) — There were 918 data breaches that compromised 1.9 billion data records in just the first six months of 2017, according to a leading digital security provider. That’s a 164 percent increase compared to 2016, and those numbers are only rising.

To reduce the success rate of attackers, many industry experts are suggesting companies share cyber threat intel – creating a virtual “neighborhood watch.” Those in favor argue that tackling today’s cybersecurity challenges needs to be a collective effort. Congress even passed legislation to encourage more information sharing.

David Turetsky believes in this theory and wants to prove it’s the right approach.

David Turetsky, visiting assistant professor.

David Turetsky, CEHC visiting assistant professor. 

Investigating Information Sharing:

Turetsky, a visiting assistant professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC), is embarking on a collaborative project to investigate the real-world benefits of cybersecurity information sharing.

To do so, he is interviewing members of organizations that share cybersecurity threat information with others outside of their company, and the centers that currently organize, host and facilitate this sharing.

“The idea is that spotting threats and sharing information about them quickly, enables organizations to know what to watch for, take protective measures, and hopefully avoid becoming another victim,” Turetsky said. “The majority of companies still do not participate in information sharing, often due to resource, reputational and privacy concerns.”

"Our research is going to offer ‘proof of concept’ for some of the prospective organizations, policy makers and others who are on the fence.”

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is supporting Turetsky’s project through a $50,000 research grant. It will pay for various aspects involved with conducting the interviews, including travel and lodge expenses for participants.

Through the foundation’s support, Turetsky is also inviting industry leaders in the cybersecurity information sharing community to campus for a conference next semester. The Center for Internet Security in East Greenbush will be co-sponsoring the event.

“This project involves a lot of outreach. We are going to be engaging with dozens of professionals in the information sharing community and policy makers,” Turetsky said. “UAlbany is at the forefront of cybersecurity research. We have an opportunity to showcase our role in the fight against virtual criminals.”

Student and Faculty Outreach:

A vital component of Turetsky’s project involves working with CEHC faculty, including assistant professor Brian Nussbaum, along with students who are interested in cybersecurity careers. Students will assist with initial interviews, lead follow-ups and help organize next semester’s conference.

Turetsky, who brings more than 35 years of experience in business, government and law, believes this hands-on learning and networking opportunity will offer those involved a valuable supplement to their classroom work. It also supports CEHC’s mission to promote an experiential learning environment.

“Part of the funding for this project has been allocated to students, who can help us with research and planning next semester’s conference,” Turetsky said. “If we want to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, we need to offer our students real-world learning opportunities that reach far beyond the walls of the classroom.”

You can learn more about the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity and its mission here.

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