A TEDx event at City Winery in 2018. // Photo by Shanna Snow (Creative Commons 2.0)
By MATT BLOIS
A cybersecurity expert from the Brentwood firm LBMC is slated to give a talk at a TEDx event in Nashville next month.
LBMC’s Mark Burnette said his talk will focus on some of the characteristics of humans that lead to failures in cybersecurity.
According to Burnette, most cybersecurity attacks happen when a human makes a mistake rather than a computer. He said he hopes to give listeners a few ways to keep their data safe in his 18-minute talk.
“I’ve identified three traits of humans, three characteristics of humans that make us especially susceptible cybersecurity breaches,” he said. “In actuality, the focus of the TED talk is to point out that humans are the cause of most cybersecurity attacks … and hopefully leave the audience thinking about how they could be a bit more cyber-aware.”
The TEDx event is scheduled for March 1 and 2 at the Musicians Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. TEDx events are organized locally, rather than through the national TED organization.
We are excited to formally announce this year’s incredible lineup of speakers. Comment below with who you’re most excited to see! pic.twitter.com/NDB0HM2hKu
— TEDxNashville (@TEDxNashville) February 7, 2019
Burnette said Chris Moise, the leader of TEDx in Nashville, reached out to him because he wanted to have a speaker address cybersecurity.
The technical details of cybersecurity systems are not interesting, Burnette readily admits. He said humans tend to take in information through stories, and that’s how he hopes to communicate his message during the TEDx event.
“Stories about breaking into computer systems and how we got in — thinking about how to circumvent all the controls a company put in place — those are interesting,” he said. “People can relate to those because nearly everybody … will have likely experienced a cybersecurity breach.”
While humans are most often the cause of cyber security breaches, Burnette said he’s optimistic about the future. He sees companies and individuals improving their cybersecurity systems and becoming more aware of how to avoid cyber attacks.
“In the movies the good guys always win. While that may not always be true in life I do believe we’re making a difference already,” he said. “I believe we will continue to make a difference and make it more difficult for the bad guys.”