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Tech Transforms podcast: AI in government, insider threat, critical infrastructure and car hacking ghost stories

On the Tech Transforms podcast, sponsored by Dynatrace, we talk to some of the most prominent influencers shaping critical government technology decisions.

In October 2023, the Tech Transforms podcast got into the Halloween spirit and unmasked some of the scariest and more unnerving sides of technology. Our guests discussed a handful of frightening cybersecurity threats and provided practical advice for federal agencies and consumers to protect against these threats.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023: Key themes and best practices for protecting against cyberthreats

David Egts talks AI in government and disinformation

We kicked off the Halloween series by sitting down with David Egts, Field CTO of Public Sector, MuleSoft at Salesforce. The episode focused on IT’s biggest hot topic: artificial intelligence (AI). Egts shared his insights about AI in the government: agencies are cautiously embracing it while also putting safeguards in place to protect sensitive information. Turning to some of the chilling applications of AI, Egts discussed generative AI. We considered how generative AI can facilitate the spread of disinformation and how consumers may opt to blindly trust AI-generated information because they trust the organization behind it.

Grant Schneider’s triple whammy of insider threats, critical infrastructure, and AI

Our next guest, Grant Schneider, senior director of cybersecurity services at Venable and former federal CISO, took things up a notch. He spoke with me and Mark Senell about a trio of hair-raising cyber realities: insider threats, critical infrastructure attacks, and the malicious side of AI. We looked at the evolution of the insider threat from Schneider’s perspective inside the government during Edward Snowden’s activities. We also discussed securing critical infrastructure against attacks to avoid catastrophes like the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. Schneider shared his perspective on the impact of those incidents. He also shared something that makes AI scarier for him: its ability to allow for acceleration. “AI makes it a lot easier to scale if you’re a bad guy,” he said. “It allows bad guys to scale much quicker and can have more impacts.”

Ghostbusting connected cars with Tracy Bannon & Eric Monterastelli

We closed out the series with a deep dive into car hacking with MITRE’s Tracy Bannon and Eric Monterastelli, the Public Sector SE at Delinea. During this episode, we discussed cars’ susceptibility to hacking. Specifically, we reflect on the Jeep hacking demonstration at Black Hat 2015 and how malicious actors could impact a car’s operations. However, the most surprising (and spookiest) revelation during this episode was the sheer volume of information that cars can collect about you and your individual driving habits. They can also collect deep, personal data like immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health, and genetic information.

Tech Transforms podcast cover Episode 70 Tech Transforms podcast cover Episode 71 Tech Transforms podcast cover Episode 72

Tune in to Episode 70, Episode 71, and Episode 72 to hear all of the insights from this terrifying, but really informative series!

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