Conestoga news

January 3, 2023 11:21 AM

Campus cyber talk provides insight into modern security

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology hosted a campus cyber talk series in collaboration with the (ISC)2 Toronto chapter at the Waterloo campus on November 24. The event welcomed students and employees to hear from current thought leaders in cybersecurity. 

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Allison Atkins presented a keynote address at the campus cyber talk series event on November 24 at the college’s Waterloo campus.

Formerly known as the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, (ISC)2 is the world’s leading cybersecurity professional organization. The non-profit membership association is committed to education to inspire a safe and secure cyber world. 

Allison Atkins, Microsoft’s national leader for Cloud Endpoint Modernization, delivered the keynote address discussing the Zero Trust model to prevent and respond to cyber threats quickly and effectively.

“You might think Zero Trust is the latest cliché, security catchphrase or an elusive ideological state that companies strive for but can never achieve, but I don’t believe either is the case,” said Atkins. “I think there are opportunities today to bring Zero Trust to life, and I believe it is what we need to embrace to meet the threat landscape.”

Zero Trust is a security model that more effectively adapts to the complexity of the modern cyber environment to protect people, devices, applications and data. Instead of assuming everything behind a corporate firewall is safe, the model assumes breach and verifies each request as though it originates from an open network, ensuring every access request is fully authenticated, authorized, and encrypted.

“The pandemic has changed the way we work with remote and hybrid work, and with the rise in cybercrime, it really has become a challenge to maintain a secure environment,” Atkins continued. “We’re trying to deal with the complexity of hybrid work where we’ve got things on the cloud and we’re trying to be productive from anywhere. I think Zero Trust is the approach that is needed today to maintain that productivity and expedite cloud migration as well as reducing risk.”

In addition to the keynote address, the event also featured a panel discussion with industry professionals David Baylon from Aon, information security instructor Hendra Hendrawan, Rola Turk from RBC’s identity and access management team, and Denis Villeneuve of Kyndryl. Panelists discussed their cybersecurity journey and the transformation of the industry and offered advice to students as they prepare to graduate and enter the workforce.

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology offers leading-edge programs that prepare graduates for an exciting career in the innovative world of information and communications technology. Programs feature experiential and hands-on learning in state-of-the-art facilities, and a strong connection to local industry provides project-based learning focused on real-world problems and new technologies.