Cyber Security Lecture turns into Interactive Session on Countering Hacker Attacks

Guest lecturer Anjum Nazir provides overview of information security landscape, discusses countermeasures

HABIB UNIVERSITY, March 31, 2016: Mr. Anjum Nazir’s talk on ‘Information Security and Cyber Threats’ here at Habib University’s Tariq Rafi and Family Lecture Theater turned into an intensely interactive session as professionals and students from around Karachi took the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the world of cyber security.

Organized by Habib University’s School of Science & Engineering (SSE) as part of the SSE Public Lecture Series, the talk attracted a large audience of students from both Habib University and other educational institutions across Karachi. Cyber security professionals from multiple organizations were also in attendance at the event.

Mr. Nazir has more than 10 years of experience in networks and information security training and consulting. Currently, he is working as a Senior Network Security Analyst at United Bank Limited (UBL), one of the largest private sector banks in Pakistan.

Mr. Nazir’s talk started off with an introduction to the language of cyber security, which made it easier for the audience to follow the rest of his lecture. Mr. Nazir described what ‘vulnerabilities’, ‘exploits’ and ‘attacks’ mean, then proceeded to give a breakdown of the types of attacks faced by different categories of information systems users.  He also dived into the complexity of cyber threats faced by users, explaining their sophistication as a function of the attacker’s knowledge of the target system and the tools utilized by him/her. He further explained how hacking has eventually become a global industry, with exploiters using different vulnerabilities in computer systems to gain valuable information and/or sabotage systems. Audience members frequently punctuated his presentation with questions of their own, asking him to shed light on various problems they had come across in their own work or studies.

Mr. Nazir rounded off his talk with an overview of how cyber attacks have evolved, explaining that they are now conducted with advanced tools, intelligence and much more persistence than ever before. He also explained how the techniques adopted by hackers and exploiters has evolved from simple password guessing to sophisticated algorithms. But as their techniques have evolved, we have come to understand more about their technique and less about hacker profile and motives. This is also a very active area of research in HCI where researchers focus on profiling attackers based on their motives and strategies. To counter these threats, information systems users need to deploy an entire spectrum of technologies, policies and response mechanisms, he explained. “There is no silver bullet for hackers,” he remarked. 


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