(Video) Sociotechnical Cybersecurity Speaker Series: Assessing the Cyber-attack Surface of Local Infrastructures

UMD INFO Staff - February 27, 2023

Ido Sivan-Sevilla, assistant professor at the INFO College, discusses vulnerabilities in U.S. infrastructure.

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On February 15, Ido Sivan-Sevilla, assistant professor at the College of Information Studies (INFO College), discussed how to better highlight social problems with technology and inform policymaking.

Access to social goods such as information, education, health, news, and utilities is now mediated through technology. Socio-technical systems advance certain goods, but at the same time risk our privacy and are vulnerable to alarming security compromises. Public policy systems have been trying to respond, struggling to create meaningful changes. Their struggle is not only due to political and bureaucratic reasons, but also because of the inability of public officials to evaluate and scrutinize the technologies they govern.

Sivan-Sevilla discussed potential vulnerabilities in U.S. infrastructure. In his ongoing project, he applies a self-developed application to scan publicly facing devices from government networks, hospitals, K-12 schools, and wastewater infrastructures across local counties in the U.S. and then assesses their vulnerabilities.

Watch a recording of the talk here:

Sivan-Sevilla studies the struggle of policy systems to govern harms from technology at the policy design, enforcement, and compliance layers. His work has been published or presented in the Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Risk Research, Journal of Public Policy, Policy & Internet, Journal of West European Politics, NATO’s International Conference on Cyber Conflict, FTC’s Privacy Conferences, and the International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis. Sivan-Sevilla was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell Tech, earned his PhD in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was a MA Fulbright graduate in public policy at the University of Minnesota, and completed his BA in computer science from the Technion. He has a vast network and information security background, having served at the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Israeli Air Force.