On April 4, Michael Johnson (Director of Cyber Security, Naval Facilities Command Far East) presented an overview of cyber security to an overflow crowd at Temple University Japan. He opened the seminar with an engaging description of a simple network from the perspective of a user, illustrating how hubs, switches, and routers are configured to manage information flow. This provided a useful construct for understanding where potential vulnerabilities might be anticipated. Mr. Johnson followed this overview with a discussion of potential concerns related to the 2020 Olympics and the wide variety of potential threats that must be considered for such an event, from operational security (power grids, trains, and communications networks) to the logistics of running the event (think about what would happen if someone could hack the scoring systems reporting the fractions of a second which separate first from second place in the 800meter!). He closed with lessons learned from previous large-scale events and then took questions from the audience. What about hardware vulnerability when components are made in China? Yes, this is a concern – you should research your components. Should contractors be considered a potential insider threat vector? Insider threats are always a possibility, but loyalty remains important among those who work in cybersecurity. Japan is working hard running simulations – 14 conducted already this year – and this promises to be the most connected Olympics yet.
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