Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

​How can we keep data safe, secure and private in our wired world?

​Expert briefings on cryptography and cyber security, privacy and international relations, and software and hardware engineering.

				Six expert views on different aspects of the data security conundrum. | iStock/mattjeacock


Six expert views on different aspects of the data security conundrum. | iStock/mattjeacock


Dan Boneh talks about the future of internet security. Elisabeth Paté-Cornell applies risk analysis to data protection and cyber security. Jennifer Granick focuses on past, present and future notions of privacy. Herb Lin explores the international dimensions of cyberspace. John Mitchell considers how to make security a kernel of software. Phil Levis seeks to insure that hackers don’t hijack The Internet of Things.

Dan Boneh: What is the future of cryptography?

Dan Boneh talks about how he first became interested in encryption and the future of Internet security. Boneh is a Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical Engineering at Stanford and an expert in encryption and cyber security.

“I was fascinated with computers from a very young age. So, I just fell in love with these things that you can program them and tell them what to do and they just do it without arguing with you. It also became very clear that they're gonna hold a lot personal data about everyone, and it's kinda vital to protect that information somehow.”

Elisabeth Paté-Cornell: How can we apply risk analysis to cyber security

Elisabeth Paté-Cornell discusses how she applies risk analysis to the challenges of data protection and cyber security. She is a professor of Management Science & Engineering at the Stanford School of Engineering where her recent work applies game theory to problems in counter-terrorism, nuclear counter-proliferation and cyber security.

“You look at things in probabilistic terms, and that's the only way that I know how to do that kind of exercise. We present our results under the form of probability distributions. And depending on the risk attitude of the decision makers, they can decide where they want to put most of their efforts.”

Jennifer Granick: Does privacy have a future?

Jennifer Granick talks about how notions of privacy have changed over the years and where she thinks things are headed in the future. She is a professor at the Stanford School of Law and Director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society, where she specializes in the intersection of engineering, privacy and the law.

“Governments increasingly want two things. One is, access to information about their citizens and others, and the other is control over what people can do online. And these goals aren't necessarily nefarious … but we also have very serious policy problems that impinge upon peoples’ freedom of thought and freedom of speech.”

Herb Lin: What are the challenges of cyber security from an international policy standpoint?

Herb Lin talks about some of the issues at the intersection of international security and cyber policy in a world where there are few norms of international law governing the online world. Lin is senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and Hank J. Holland Fellow at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University.

“Under what circumstances are we allowed to conduct offensive operations in cyberspace? Well, it turns out there is no international law that prohibits the gathering of intelligence, none.”

John Mitchell: How can we design for security?

John Mitchell discusses the growing challenges of cyber security and the complexities of designing and testing better security into our software from the start. Mitchell is a professor of Computer Science at the Stanford School of Engineering and the first Vice Provost for Online Learning at Stanford.

“The attacks that happen in the real world are the result of a tremendous amount of clever insight and ingenuity. So, if we want to design something that's secure against the kind of attacks that a thoughtful, clever, creative, determined person would create, we can't really just do that by casual testing.”

Phil Levis: Will we embrace or fear the Internet of Things?

Phil Levis offers a few thoughts on the promise and the perils of the Internet of Things. He is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science at Stanford and is helping to design the next generation of small, interconnected devices that will fuel the Internet of things.

“I research embedded systems, so think small computational devices that interact with the physical world around them unlike, say, your mobile phone or your desktop or your laptop or your tablet. Just in the past few years really that vision of this future of smart dust, and of smart spaces, and smart objects, it's becoming a reality. And it turns out that when we put computation and communication and sensing into everything, right, smart shoes, smart doors, smart cars, the security implications are pretty enormous.”