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2022 CCI Integrated Security Seminar Fall Series

Nov. 7, 2022, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Flyer says "integrated security seminar series, November 7, 2022, 10 am"

Date: Monday, Nov. 7, 2022
Coffee and connections: 9:30 a.m.
Seminar: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Integrated Security Education and Research Center
New Classroom Building (170)
1455 Perry Street, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Or via Zoom (link provided in registration)

Nov. 7 seminars

Inexpert Supervision: Field Evidence on Boards’ Oversight of Cybersecurity

Speaker: Michelle Lowry, assistant professor, accounting and information systems, Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business

Through an interview-based field study, we investigate how directors provide cybersecurity oversight and the role of expertise in determining its effectiveness. We find that directors’ cybersecurity expertise is an important determinant of oversight effectiveness, primarily through increasing directors’ attention to cybersecurity issues and enabling them to ask incisive questions of management. In contrast, a lack of board expertise can result overreliance on CISOs and thus in circular governance between the board and management, whereby the terms of oversight are largely dictated by the supposed subjects of that oversight.

Studying Large Language Models Through the Lens of Security: Defending Against Misuse and Vulnerabilities

Speaker: Bimal Viswanath, assistant professor, Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science

Large language models (LLMs) or neural network models trained on large text datasets of human language have enabled huge advances in convincingly generating text. In this talk, I will examine applications of text generation through the lens of security, focusing on mitigating threats posed by misuse and vulnerabilities of this technology. First, LLMs can be misused for malicious purposes to generate misleading text, e.g., generating fake news articles, opinion spam. Our work investigates the effectiveness of defenses that aim to detect such synthetic text by considering real-world settings, i.e., on real-world datasets and by considering an adaptive adversary, and lays out new directions for robust detection of synthetic text. Second, we examine data poisoning vulnerabilities impacting interactive applications of LLMs, by focusing on open-domain dialog systems. We systematically study such threats to understand their effectiveness, and propose mitigation strategies.


About this seminar series

This seminar series, co-hosted by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative in Southwest Virginia (CCI SWVA) and The Integrated Security Education and Research Center (ISERC), focuses on integrated security.  Each seminar features two speakers from different areas of research who delve into the real-world, salient cybersecurity issues impacting businesses and individuals around the world.