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k-state.edu/seek 29 Kansas State University cybersecurity researchers want you to know the difference between the stereotype of cybersecurity and the reality of it. The stereotype: Cyberattacks are committed by hooded hackers cracking code to infiltrate our security systems. The reality: Cyberattacks certainly can happen that way, but it’s much more likely to come in the form of vulnerable and outdated hardware and software, social engineering, phishing scams and ransomware. That reality can be a pretty scary place. An outdated piece of software can make an autonomous vehicle susceptible to cyberattacks. Clever social engineering can cause an unknowing employee to provide access to sensitive documents. Terrorists can take advantage of weaknesses in our infrastructure, such as power grids and water treatment plants. The things that make our life easier, such as smart doorbells or home security systems, also have the potential to be misused. As the world becomes more computerized, we also become more vulnerable. “A great example of the risks we face can be seen in Ukraine where several types of destructive malware aimed at government and financial organizations were deployed in the hours leading up to the invasion,” said Scott DeLoach, head of the computer science department in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. That’s why K-State researchers are working behind the code to navigate the new world of cybersecurity and to keep our data, our infrastructure and our world safe.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.