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Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham Participates In A High-Profile Panel On Cyber Risk And Resilience Hosted By The World-Renowned Lloyds Of London Insurance

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, Founders Chair Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) and a leading cyber security expert, recently participated in a high profile panel on Cyber Risk and Resilience at Lloyds of London Insurance, the oldest insurance company in the world, founded in 1688. Featured speakers at the Lloyds event included Lord Mark Sedwill (also known as Baron Sedwill of Sherborne), Sir Ciarán Devane, Chair of Irish Health Service Executive, and the well-known Cambridge University Cyber Security Professor Ross Anderson.

Lloyds of London Panel; Left to Right: Moderator Kevin Kajiwara (Political and Risk Advisory Co-President of Teneo), Paul Bantick (Head of Global Cyber and Technology at Beazley), Lauren Van Wazer (Vice President at Akamai), Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, and Sian John MBE (Microsoft Chief Security Advisor).

A key Cyber Resilience challenge that was addressed involved the assurance that systems and applications continue to function in the midst of cyber-attacks. This is a monumental task, with the goal being to identify attacks quickly and isolate them so that the rest of the system and applications are not attacked. Thuraisingham, with her UT Dallas colleagues Profs. Latifur Khan and Murat Kantarcioglu have focused on applying deep learning techniques and utilizing scalable infrastructures such as the cloud to identify advanced persistent threats rapidly. Another major challenge that the cyber security community is addressing is handling attacks on machine learning techniques. Together with the team at UT Dallas, Thuraisingham has developed various types of adversarial machine learning techniques to handle such attacks. She has also proposed utilizing formal methods for verifying the machine learning software. Other topics she discussed at the panel include handling ransomware attacks and the ability for quantum computing to break encryption codes in milliseconds. She goes on to point out that this can potentially impact security if successful postquantum cryptographic techniques are not developed.

In addition to developing technology to address these challenges, Thuraisingham also stressed the need for generally analyzing risks and ensuring proper cyber governance. She advocated developing solutions appropriate for the risks involved. Consequently, the analysis of risks and development of technological solutions to address the problems is crucial. This also necessarily involves proper cyber governance. The organization must have 100% commitment to cyber security and there must be a cyber security expert at the executive level as well as in the boardroom. Thuraisingham argued that this is the only way an organization can understand the challenges involved and ensure that adequate resources are provided to secure all aspects of the systems and applications. Cyber insurance is also an area that is gaining prominence because of the increase in the number of attacks. Just like health insurance and car insurance for individuals, organizations should purchase appropriate cyber insurance tailored to the risks involved.

Lloyds of London Dining Room: Left to Right: Kevin Kajiwara, Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, Lord Mark Sedwill

Thuraisingham has participated in other high-profile panels over the past year, including the 2022 Dell Technologies World Panel and Media Interview on Cyber Resilience and the 2021 Fortune Media Panel (parent of Fortune Magazine) on How the Pandemic impacted Cyber Security. She discussed several cyber security challenges today, including practicing proper cyber hygiene, especially when working from home.

Thuraisingham continues to publish her work in top-tier conferences and journals, as well as write books and give numerous keynote addresses. Moreover, she has also been a motivational speaker at several high-profile venues in recent years. For example, she was the inspirational speaker at the Maryam Mirzakhani Celebrations for Women in Mathematics in 2021, where she discussed the work of the late Prof. Mirzakhani and how we must try and emulate her in our work. In February 2022, she participated in a panel for Professors without Borders (Prowibo) on the “Art of Speaking Science” and explained how to get the message across to the general public about cyber hygiene. Also, at the 2022 IEEE International Conference in Data Engineering, a top-tier data science conference, she was given the plenary platform for a keynote address on the role of mentoring in achieving career success. She spoke of her experiences in her 42-year career and how she overcame challenges to excel in her work. An article based on her keynote address was published on the IEEE Computer Society website. She has also participated in multiple podcasts motivating women in cyber security. As part of her outreach efforts, she teaches a virtual 40-hour course (pro-bono) on Integrating Machine Learning and

Dell Technologies World Panel: Right to Left: Moderator John Scimone (Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Dell), Chris Wylie (Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower), Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham and Vivek Tiwari (Vice President, Product Assurance and Security, Intel).

Cyber Security for the University of Dschang in Cameroon, Africa. In addition, Thuraisingham has connected with many developing countries through virtual presentations highlighting the challenges to cyber security. At home, she participates in UTD’s Summer Intern Program and serves as a mentor to high school students in the DFW area.

Thuraisingham continues to be rewarded for her work. Recently she received awards for her technical work and for inspiring women and underrepresented communities in cyber security. In October 2022, for example, she received the Technical Impact Award for her Research and Education work in Securing the Cloud, Edge, and IoT technologies at the IEEE Smart Cloud conference, sponsored by the IEEE Special Technical Committee on Smart Computing. She also received the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award at the 2021 IEEE Cyber Security Cloud conference for motivating numerous women as well as those from underrepresented communities, urging them to excel in their education and careers. For example,  of the 22 PhD students she has graduated, 11 are women, and several are students from the African American, Latino-American, and LGBTQ communities.

Thuraisingham’s 42-year career in Industry, Federal Research Lab, the US Government, and Academia has led her to receive numerous awards and accolades, including the IEEE Computer Society’s 1997 Technical Achievement Award, the 2001 Career Communications Inc. Woman of Color  Research Leadership Award, ACM SIGSAC 2010 Outstanding Contributions Award, the

Fortune Media Panel: Moderator Robert Hackett (Senior Editor, Fortune Media), Joanna Burkey (Chief Information Security Officer, HP Inc.), Penelope Prett (Chief Information Officer, Accenture), Justine Bone (CEO, MedSec), and Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham

IEEE Technical Committee on Services Computing 2017 Research Innovation Award, the ACM 2017 SIGSAC CODASPY (Data and Applications Security and Privacy) Lasting Research Award, the 2017 Women in Technology Award from the Dallas Business Journal and the 2019 IEEE Communications Society Technical Recognition Award for Communications and Information Security. Her work has yielded over 130 refereed journal publications, over 330 conference papers, over 200 keynotes and featured presentations, over 140 panel presentations, 16 books, 7 patents, and numerous other edited works, technical articles, and presentations. She is an elected Fellow of several prestigious organizations, including the ACM, IEEE, AAAS, and the NAI. She has been named one of the 500 most influential business leaders in DFW for three years in a row (2021 – 2023) by the D CEO Magazine’s Dallas 500.

When asked about her future plans, she says that she not only wants to continue to excel in technical work but, more importantly, continue to participate in events in cyber security and data science to benefit the general public and developing countries, write articles, and take advantage of every platform available to her to motivate and encourage her colleagues as well as educate the next generation of researchers, software developers, teachers, and academics in Computer Science.


ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 4,000 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,010 master’s students, 140 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 42 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2022. With the University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

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