When Things Go Wrong

Lea Kissner


Despite all we do to prevent them, mistakes happen. We’re fallible humans working with exceedingly complicated systems in a world of users with a dizzying array of different needs. Unsurprisingly but sadly, our systems sometimes end up with vulnerabilities and those vulnerabilities can turn into incidents, hurting people affected by our systems. In this talk we go through the stages of incident handling: finding the cut, stopping the bleeding, and cleaning up the blood. After the incident is over, our work is done: we need to find the root cause and ensure that neither this particular incident nor related ones happen again. We will go through real-world examples of things going wrong and how to make them go right.

Lea Kissner[node:field-speakers-institution]

Lea was the Chief Privacy Officer of Humu. They work to build respect for users into products and systems through product design, privacy-enhancing infrastructure, application security, and novel research into both theoretical and practical aspects of privacy. They were previously the Global Lead of Privacy Technology at Google, working for over a decade on projects including logs anonymization, infrastructure security, privacy infrastructure, and privacy engineering. They earned a Ph.D. in computer science (with a focus on cryptography) at Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.
@inproceedings {257937,
author = {Lea Kissner},
title = {When Things Go Wrong},
booktitle = {2020 {USENIX} Conference on Privacy Engineering Practice and Respect ({PEPR} 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/pepr20/presentation/kissner},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video