You’re not the problem with cybersecurity. Purdue’s Spaf says so
Then again, you could do better, according to a new book co-authored by Purdue’s legendary Eugene Spafford and illustrated by Pattie Spafford, his wife
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Q&A: YOU’RE NOT THE PROBLEM WITH CYBERSECURITY. PURDUE LEGEND SPAF’S NEW BOOK, WITH ILLUSTRATION HELP CLOSE TO HOME, TELLS WHY
Spoiler alert: Ferris, the friendly and very-much-still a puppy ready to greet visitors at Eugene and Pattie Spafford’s front door, is not the inspiration of any of the household computer passwords.
“He’s a big deal, but …,” Eugene Spafford, something of a cybersecurity legend at Purdue, said during a recent visit and conversation broken up now and then by a dog looking to play.
The occasion was the recent release of “Cybersecurity Myths and Misconceptions: Avoiding the Hazards and Pitfalls that Derail Us” (Addison-Wesley Professional).
Written with Leigh Metcalf of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute and Josiah Dykstra, a cybersecurity expert and author who has worked at the U.S. National Security Agency, the book dissects common assumptions about the field that Spafford argues undercut the goals to prevent system vulnerability and data breaches.
The book – illustrated by Pattie Spafford, an art education professor formerly at University of Louisiana-Lafayette – recently was named to the Cybersecurity Canon, a collection of definitive books and literature curated by the Institute for Cybersecurity & Digital Trust, based at Ohio State University.
From the review there: “… a tour de force of cybersecurity history, wisdom and advice. A worthy candidate for the Cybercanon Hall of Fame, it provides a security professional with actionable resources to manage any career stage and any security dilemma. It also offers non-security people a way of understanding cybersecurity and how it impacts all our lives.”
That’s where we start, with the guy everyone calls “Spaf” – a 36-year veteran at Purdue, founder of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security and recently back from his induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences – and Pattie Spafford, an art education professor most recently at University of Louisiana-Lafayette, with a few minor interruptions from Ferris.
Question: Let’s talk about how this book came about. How did you both wind up here?