Tackling the Trust and Safety Crisis

Alex Stamos, Adjunct Professor, Stanford University; William J. Perry Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation; Fellow, Hoover Institution

Abstract: 

Around the turn of the century, the technology industry faced a pretty basic problem: we had no idea how to write secure software. Every year brought the invention of completely new classes of software flaw, there was little training available in industry or the academy, and security was considered something you added with a firewall and antivirus.

Twenty years have past and, while things are far from perfect, we at least have a great deal more understanding of how to address core information security risks in complex software projects. The tech industry is now facing a whole set of new issues, ones involving our inability to build products that are safe, trustworthy, and respectful of user privacy when deployed to billions globally. Unlike before, however, this is not just a computer science problem but one that crosses into the worlds of sociology, psychology, political science, and anthropology.

In this talk, the speaker will draw from his deep well of experience making serious mistakes in this area to lay out some of the basic challenges facing industry and academia while humbly suggesting some possible ways forward. This time, we don't have decades to figure out how to do better.

Alex Stamos, Adjunct Professor, Stanford University; William J. Perry Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation; Fellow, Hoover Institution

Alex Stamos is working to improve the security and safety of the Internet through teaching and research at Stanford University. He has served as Chief Security Officer at Facebook and Yahoo and was a co-founder of iSEC Partners. Alex has investigated and responded to several historical events and has been called the "Forrest Gump of InfoSec" by friends. He is working on election security as a member of the Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy and advising NATO’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. He has spoken on six continents, testified in Congress, served as an expert witness for the wrongly accused, earned a BSEE from UC Berkeley, and holds five patents.

USENIX Security '19 Open Access Videos Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

BibTeX
@conference {236588,
author = {Alex Stamos},
title = {Tackling the Trust and Safety Crisis},
year = {2019},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = aug,
}

Presentation Video