MSU alum speaks at Security Matters conference | Local News


MURRAY – Wes Spencer, co-founder and CISO of Perch Security and alumnus of Murray State University, was the guest speaker at the Security Matters Conference held April 21 at the Murray State University Curris Center.

Spencer told the story of a ransomware breach at an anonymous insurance agency. Since the perpetrators deleted the backups, it took more than a million dollars to stop the ransom. In the forensic suites, the business owner saw that the entry point of the breach was a phishing email that happened 30 days before the ransomeware attack. Phishing is tricking people through deceptive emails or fraudulent websites into revealing personal information that would be used for criminal purposes.

Spencer said companies that don’t prioritize cybersecurity could eventually see all their hard work come crashing down. Businesses can prevent and solve the problem of ransomware through the use of cybersecurity. Ransomware is what a hacker slips into a system and then the hacker sets up encryption controls that lock users out.

What is the actual damage to enterprise software? On average, it takes 16 days of downtime after a ransomware attack to recover your data. And at that time, it could mean reputational damage and a huge loss of money.

“The source of the insider threat is not malice, it’s ignorance,” Spencer said. “It’s 2022 and phishing is still an entry point. It’s because there’s a human element of weakness in there.

The Stellar program uses consensus proof technology that follows the Byzantine generals problem. Stellar is a platform launched in 2014 with the goal of using blockchain to provide more accessible financial services to people around the world.

The Byzantine Army Problem is the story of a general trying to determine if there is a traitor or traitors in the line of generals. In the story, several divisions of the Byzantine army are encamped outside an enemy town, each division commanded by its own general. Generals can only communicate with each other by messenger. After observing the enemy, they must decide on a common course of action.

In terms of protection software, the different parts of the program must reach consensus. All the “generals” in the program are configured to communicate with each other in depth to protect information.

Spencer explained that the “bad guys” behind these cyber threats are no longer little kids with nerd glasses. These hackers are organized criminals and nation states who are motivated to steal your money and information.

Spencer concluded his presentation with a slide of an empty bank lobby where people left deep indentations on the marble tiles from foot traffic. He said: “The days of the old school systems are over. Everything is now online and innovative in many ways.


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