Cyber Security & Awareness Fair marks 10th year

By Brandon Hatter

On Thursday, Cal Poly Pomona hosted its 10th Annual Cyber Security & Awareness Fair in the Bronco Student Center.

CSAF informs students about the potential threat of having personal information accessed without their knowledge. The event also provides information for those who are interested in entering the cyber security field as a career.

According to Christopher Laasch, founder and director of CSAF, this year’s theme meant to teach students how not to be victims of a cyber attack.

“In each of the presentations, you’ll see a theme of how to protect yourself and not be a target or a victim,” said Laasch.

CSAF also promotes the representation of women in the field of cyber security. The event typically features female speakers who offer guidance and networking opportunities.

“Women who are going into [information technology] in general have declined over the last couple of decades,” said Anna Carlin, the fair’s deputy director. “In cyber security, it’s less than 5 percent female.

“What we want to do in any profession is to round out the perspective. By doing that in one of the highest paying fields you can go in to, we want to make sure that we’ve got diversity in the workforce.”

The fair was spread throughout the BSC and featured four elements: security, awareness, career development and hands-on learning. Each of these emphases had related presentations and information booths .

Dennis S. London, founding partner and principle consultant at London Security Solutions, gave a presentation titled “Securing the Cyber World Starts with You.” His goal was to make sure guests were aware of their roles in cyber security.

“Everyone has an individual responsibility, but many people tend to neglect that,” said London. “You have to be responsible for what you do while you’re online, and you also have to try to secure your portion of it. Because what you do not only impacts yourself, but it can also impact your friends, your family, your coworkers and your businesses.”

Jerry Craft, a security consultant for Nth Generation Computing, gave a hands-on presentation called “Hands-On Hacking.” Attendees were loaned laptops, which were used to demonstrate how wireless networks can be attacked. The university’s WiFi was used as an example.

Craft explained that these demonstrations were not held to teach students how to hack, but to show how easily information like usernames and passwords can be compromised when using unsecured and public networks.

“It’s really to help students understand that whenever they connect to wireless network, they’re not really safe,” said Craft. “They need to be careful and watch out for what they’re doing.”

The event also featured a poster contest, where students could submit and present a poster related to cyber security for cash prizes.

Fifth-year computer science student Sean Corlin believed that the event reiterated the importance of cyber security.

“So many people are unaware of the fact that what you put on the Internet is pretty much free game,” said Corlin. “People think that just because something says it’s secure, it does not mean it is never going to go anywhere. They need to understand that whatever they put is pretty much public domain.”

Cyber Security & Awareness Fair

Hayden Yi / The Poly Post

Cyber Security & Awareness Fair

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