For the past few years, Wake Forest University has held an annual TEDx event that draws speakers to discuss a topic that relates to a spectrum of industries.
TEDx is a conference where speakers are invited to present an idea or a concept that applies to the the world. Each event has a common theme, and this year’s was “Fearlessness Reimagined,” on how security is crucial in the development of a range of industries.
Some of the speakers included Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle, Katrena Perou, CPO of Urban Arts Partnership and Errin Fulp, a Wake Forest professor that wants to approach security more like nature.
There are currently over 17.6 zettabytes (one zettabyte is one billion terabytes) of data in the Digital Universe and that figure grows 40 percent each year. With this mass amount of data comes the concern of security. Security affects everyone, and it’s a serious problem that unfortunately, doesn’t have a magical technical solution.
Technology is growing so fast companies tend to have a harder time sealing gaps and holes in their systems; however, companies like Oracle are developing systems that create “machine learning” software that learns, like humans do, to fix solutions as they arise. Hurd’s Oracle is on the forefront of creating systems of security to ensure the privacy of important client data and has paved the way for innovation in the IT.
Security is defined as a feeling or state of being where one is protected, welcomed and taken care of. Perou, Chief Program Officer at Urban Arts Partnership, has a different perspective than Hurd on security. Many students in underprivileged areas lack a sense of security because of their surroundings. Perou discussed how fear or insecurity has an impact on decisions being made at younger ages. In grade school, afterschool programs tend to have low attendance rates and don’t appeal to many people.
Perou works with social, artistic, and intellectual growth of students from poorly funded public schools. Urban Arts brings programs that close the gap between the impoverished students and education. She brought colors, art and a sense of community to these schools which allowed students to improve on skills that will help them in the future. Her goal was to create a safe place for students to learn more about themselves and have student leaders be hands-on with the growth and development of these programs.
Errin Fulp is approaching internet security in the same way nature reacts to changes in ecosystems. He discussed how nature has an interesting way of following order. Many tend not to think of nature as being orderly but in many cases it is. For example, ants go from their colony to a food source in optimal and efficient ways. Their main objective is to get food and go back to the colony. There is no secret code or program in their antennae, they just do it. They adapt to obstacles along the way while remaining optimal.
His inspiration was found in the natural world to create efficient ways to protect the most sensitive information by copying adaptive solutions. Fulp’s objective is to secure networks by reducing the level of human involvement with problem detection. Right now, when a problem arises in a network an actual person has to address that problem whereas with Fulp’s idea is to have the security system solve itself.
Adaptive learning? Zetabytes? Security? One of the core takeaways from TEDx Wake Forest was not to be afraid of embracing the changes of our world today. The world is progressively getting more connected. Understanding how companies and services secure information while providing exceptional products is an important element of living in today’s world.