Must-watch TED Talks on cyber security

TED Talksoffers hundreds of lectures on almost any topic, from business transformation and artificial intelligence to graphic design and education.

Looking for a new job? Check out these live cyber security jobs.

But with cyber security already a well-established concern for businesses, we've compiled a list of the best TED Talks addressing cyber security aimed at security professionals (and the aspiring).

Here are the best TED Talks for cyber security professionals.

How (and why) Russia hacked the US election

How (and why) Russia hacked the US election

In this brief Ted Talk, cyber security analyst Laura Galante runs through the 'state-sponsored information attack' felt by the US public around the time of the 2016 US presidential election.

Galante is engaging and addresses each contributing factor to Russia's alleged involvement with the US election and, of course, why.

She says: "The Russian government was the first to recognise how this evolution had turned your mind into the most exploitable device on the planet."

Watch it here.

Cracking Stuxnet: a 21st century cyberweapon

Cracking Stuxnet: a 21st century cyberweapon

The Stuxnet attack, which was responsible for holding back Iran’s nuclear programme by wrecking its centrifuges, was arguably the first time cyber weaponry really caught the public’s attention in the 21st century.

It was likely a state-sponsored attack, and there have been hints that it was a joint effort between the USA and Israel. In this fascinating talk, industrial IoT security specialist Ralph Langner explains how he and his team unfurled the mysteries surrounding the attack.

Watch it here.

Why good hackers make good citizens

Why good hackers make good citizens

TechEquity Collaborative co-founder and former Barack Obama campaigner Catherine Bracy turns the notion of hacking on its head and argues that grassroots coders can affect social change for the better – as they have in Honolulu, Oakland, and Mexico City.

Watch it here.

Why privacy matters

Why privacy matters

Investigative reporter and editor of The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald gave this impassioned talk about why privacy is so important for a functioning society – in the wake of exposing the worldwide surveillance dragnet based on the leaked NSA files from Edward Snowden.

He rebuffs the popular expression that if someone’s got nothing to hide, they’ve got nothing to fear, and as TED puts it, “makes the case for why you need to care about privacy”.

Watch it here.

Think your email is private? Think again

Think your email is private? Think again

This lecture, three years old, details the way in which your email communication can be snooped on – scientist Andy Yen argues that at the time, encryption was simple enough that everyone should be using it.

Although snooping methods have become more sophisticated and there’s more data breaches than ever before, this talk shows you why encrypting your communications is as useful today as it was then.

Watch it here.

Governments don\'t understand cyber warfare. We need hackers

Governments don't understand cyber warfare. We need hackers

Previously a consultant in the finance and technology sector, Rodrigo Bijou is currently an information security researcher specialising in intelligence, data science and information security.

In this talk, Rodrigo Bijou discusses mass surveillance, the digital landscape and its link to the recruitment and radicalisation of terrorists. Bijou calls for more to be done, for backdoors to be closed and mass surveillance ended.

Watch Governments don't understand cyber warfare. We need hackers here.

Hackers: the internet\'s immune system

Hackers: the internet's immune system

Keren Elazari is a GigaOM analyst and cyber security expert that supports and actively pushes the movement of hackers being seen as forces for good, rather than an enemy of the state.

In this talk Keren Elazari explores the world of hackers, arguing that hackers should be embraced and used to spot vulnerabilities and fix them rather than exploit them. According to Elazari, hackers have the power to create a safer world.

Watch Hackers: the internet's immune system here.

The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare

The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare

Chris Domas is an embedded systems engineer and cybersecurity researcher at Battelle Memorial Institute. Domas specialises in reverse engineering, vulnerability analysis and device manipulation.

In this talk, Chris Domas highlights how security researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering to interpret code.

Watch The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare here.

Hire the hackers!

Hire the hackers!

Misha Glenny is an underworld investigator and author. Glenny focuses on global organised crime and pays particular attention to cyber crime.

This talk has Misha Glenny highlighting the need for hackers and asks who are the people that have infiltrated so many companies. This TED Talk was recorded in 2011, the year the Anonymous Group gained global notoriety for hacking into Fox News' Twitter account and announcing the 'breaking news' that Barack Obama had been assassinated.

Watch Hire the hackers here.

Where is cybercrime really coming from?

Where is cybercrime really coming from?

In this miniature lecture, IBM security VP Caleb Barlow examines the failing of current strategies for protecting data from cybercrime. He sets out just why sharing information across industries is vital to tackle the problem that's damaging businesses to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

Watch Where is Cybercrime Really Coming From here.

Fighting viruses, defending the net

Fighting viruses, defending the net

F-Secure security analyst Mikko Hypponen details the rise of the computer virus, from its relatively benign beginnings as annoying and disruptive code to the severe risk malware now poses to the internet itself and all other walks of life. In this entertaining talk, Hypponen traces the creators of the first known PC virus – Brain.A – and tracks down its creators from the original code to the street where they still live in Pakistan.

Watch Fighting viruses, defending the net here.

Your smartphone is a civil rights issue

Your smartphone is a civil rights issue

Privacy advocate Christopher Soghoain compares the security between Apple and Android smartphones, one that does security by default and another that doesn’t. He calls the dominance of Android a “digital security divide”.

“There is now increasingly a gap between the privacy and security of the rich, who can afford devices that secure their data by default, and of the poor, whose devices do very little to protect them by default,” he says.

Soghoian goes on to say that this divide could be considered a civil rights problem – noting that modern social movements depend on technology. “The organisers of these movements and the members of these movements increasingly communicate and coordinate with smartphones,” he says. “So naturally governments that feel threatened by these movements will also target the organisers and their smartphones.”

Watch Your Smartphone is a Civil Rights Issue here.

How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust – time to act

How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust – time to act

In this brief talk in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen talks about just how serious the repercussions of the NSA’s global surveillance dragnet are. He suggests that to protect privacy online, the world needs to look outside of America.

“Maybe they think surveillance is OK because they have nothing to hide,” Hypponen says. “But whoever tells you they have nothing to hide simply hasn’t thought about this enough. Because we have this thing called privacy, and if you really think you have nothing to hide please make sure that’s the first thing you tell me – because then I know that I shouldn’t trust you with any secrets.”

Watch How the NSA Betrayed the World’s Trust here.

How Cyberattacks Threaten World Peace

How Cyberattacks Threaten World Peace

Independent cyber warfare analyst Guy-Philippe Goldstein examines the complexities of the real-world impacts that cyber attacks directed between nation states will have. In the 2000s, the trend shifted from a defensive position into an offensive position on cyber warfare.

Goldstein goes into some detail about the differences between cyber weapons and conventional warfare – in particular that problems inherent of correctly attributing the attacks.

Watch How Cyberattacks Threaten World Peace here.

Everyday cybercrime – and what you can do about it

Everyday cybercrime – and what you can do about it

Although this video is a touch dated – it's from 2013 – it’s still a good watch, with global head of security for Sophos James Lyne exposing just how simple it is to gain access to information about complete strangers.

Lyne demonstrates what remote hacking attacks look like and how the victim would often be none the wiser, sets out the booming malware black market, pays a company to DDoS his own website, and traces the creators of the Koobface malware gang, an international effort to track down the operators of the infamous Koobface botnet.

Watch Everyday Cybercrime - and What You Can Do About It here.

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