Mercy Hosts Computer Security Awareness Lecture

Terms like “Infection Detection”, “Secure Virtualization” and “Biometric digital forensics” might as well be a different language to some, but to those fluent in computer security technology, the language is a welcome topic of discussion.

On Dec. 9 in the Library Commons at Dobbs Ferry, Prof. Nair Memon, a respected researcher in his own right from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, visited Mercy College to shed some light on network and forensic security for what he describes as “techniques that can provide assurance”.

Memom spoke on issues such as what to do after computers catch a virus and how one can tell if something was tampered with in a computer system. If your computer has a firewall, then it might have logged a suspicious program or alerted you about Trojan viruses. If your internet connection is jammed, then you might have new features on your computer that you didn’t download. If you are forced to go on a specific website when you surf the internet, chances are your computer may have a virus. In cases such as these, updated Antivirus software is a must.

He spoke to the audience of classes with majors in computer technology, who all responded attentively to the professor’s insight. Suggestions were made on securing computer parts made outside the country, and avoiding those that could cause harm to your computer (a term known to techies as “trusted hardware.”)

Professors Jong Yoon and Zhixiong Chen sat with their classes as Memom spoke of the jobs that are available after students graduated from his program, notably working for the government for branches such as the CIA. Memon also extended an invitation to Mercy College to compete in a program called the Forensic Challenge. It is broken up into two parts in which teams split up and use computers to solve a crime, finding evidence which would lead to the ultimate and final challenge.

As computers become a more dominant form of communication and are more frequently used to store information, the need for its defenses against those who seek to access this personal information must be increased.

Memon added, “Just as we take advantage of the security of our home and the personal belongings in it, knowing how to read the signs of distress of a computer, a machine that we use on a daily basis, is equally important.”