Thompson to Present 'Cybersecurity: Why Should I Care?' at the Food Science Department

Dale Thompson
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Dale Thompson

Dale Thompson will present 'Cybersecurity: Why Should I Care?' at 3 p.m. today, Monday, Oct. 22, in Room D-2 of the Food Science Department.  Food Science is located 2 miles north of the main campus at 2650 N. Young Ave.

Personally identifiable information continues to be stolen from various data consolidators enabling identity theft scams. Ransomware and similar attacks have turned hacking into a profitable business by encrypting users' files and asking for payment. Malicious cryptominers are now infecting computing devices on the Internet to mine cryptocurrency for profit. Internet of Thing (IoT) devices are being deployed worldwide with security vulnerabilities and little economic incentives for patches and upgrades. Email phishing in which attackers attempt to obtain sensitive information by acting like a trustworthy entity continue to be common. Cybersecurity is the protection of Internet-connected computer systems from attacks on the hardware, software, and often data. Every organization connected to cyberspace must address cybersecurity challenges to successfully meet their mission and protect their business processes. To keep the nation secure, requires a cybersecurity workforce capable of designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining both defensive and offensive capabilities. This workforce includes not only technical staff, but managers that understand cybersecurity to implement the strategies and manage the risk in the organization. In this presentation, recent cybersecurity threats will be explained, initiatives to increase the number in the cybersecurity workforce will be presented, and good security practices to protect users' computer, network, and data will be suggested.

Thompson's research interests include computer networking, the Internet, cybersecurity, network security, and food defense. He is an Associate Professor with the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA and teaches Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Wireless Systems Security, and Network Security. Currently, he leads the Food and Cyber Education (FACE) funded by NIFA/USDA to prepare graduate food science students to protect and defend food systems from cyberattacks. In addition, he has been leading the Training Arkansas Computing Teachers (TACT) project funded by NSF that is researching the best way to train high school teachers to teach computer science. He is a co-founder of the Arkansas Research and Education (ASCENT) Institute, whose primary mission includes security issues and technologies in cyber, transportation, critical infrastructure, and food systems. Past cybersecurity projects include IPv6 security, mobile anonymous communications, localization of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, detecting counterfeit RFID tags based on signal fingerprinting, and developing modules for teaching RFID security.

Contacts

Connie Tharel, administrative specialist II
Food Science
479-575-4605, ctharel@uark.edu

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