Experts Tackle Cyber Threats, Policy Conflict in Annual Forum
The University of Maryland’s Robert H. School of Business and School of
Public Policy co-hosted the ninth annual Forum on Financial Information Systems
and Cybersecurity: A Public Policy Perspective, on Jan. 16, 2013.
About 65 academics, economists and IT engineers networked, exchanged ideas
and reinforced a foundation for keeping pace with constantly evolving cyber
The daylong forum covered current research into identifying threats and
innovating safeguards. The international collection of experts discussed public
policy and private sector avenues and pitfalls toward better protecting national
security, corporate and personal financial data, and other sensitive information
“While methods and policy actions are debatable, there’s a clear consensus
that constant vigilance is essential,” said forum co-organizer Lawrence Gordon,
the Smith School’s Ernst and Young Alumni Professor of Managerial Accounting.
“The same IT tools and platforms accelerating progress are fueling means and
opportunity for criminals. But the timely, lively discussion in this year’s
event signals a savvy and urgency to maximize protection.”
Corporations and their lobbyists “have been pushing back against U.S.
lawmaker attempts to shift from issuing voluntary guidelines to legislating
compliance measures,” said one of the presenters, John Bagby, a lawyer and Penn
State University professor of information sciences and technology.
The recent, massive and prolonged cyber-attacks against a group of major
Western banks – allegedly perpetrated by the Iranian government – underscores
the U.S. government’s urgency. However, “businesses are balancing the direct
immediate costs of investing in IT security systems against benefits that are
remote and uncertain. Plus, increasingly integrated IT security portfolios are
legally costly to navigate,” Bagby said.
Answers to such conflict are looming, said Gordon, who with Smith Professor
of Accounting and Information Assurance Martin Loeb, a Deloitte and Touche LLP
Faculty Fellow, developed the industry-renowned
for investing in cost-effective cybersecurity systems. The pair, with William Lucyshyn, director of research and senior research scholar at the Center of
Public Policy and Private Enterprise in UMD's School of Public Policy, recently
received a $666,000 Homeland Security research grant for bolstering the nation’s
critical information infrastructure.
As a trio, they collaborated in organizing the slate of forum topics that
The “inside risk” presentation, by Maryland State Retirement Agency Chief
Information Systems Officer Ira Greenstein, was designated as the Ira Shapiro
Lecture commemorating Shapiro, a Smith accounting alumnus and an executive for
Coopers & Lybrand, now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Greg Muraski, Office of Marketing Communications
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations in North America and Asia.