Mikko Hyppönen is a renowned computer security expert and the Chief Research Officer of F-Secure, a Finnish cyber security and privacy company that provides security for some of the biggest companies in the world. A leading mind in the field of cybersecurity, Mikko has played a key role in helping us understand — and then stop — major cyber threats for over 25 years.
In a compelling talk with IVY in New York City, Mikko explored the current state of cyber security and how the fight for people’s online security has changed since the early 1990s. “It’s been a pretty wild ride for 25 years,” Mikko explained, “starting from the early days when we were fighting teenage boys writing viruses for fun. Today, we are fighting foreign nation states, foreign intelligence agencies, and foreign militaries.”
Mikko delved into the dawn of the Internet of Things (“IoT”), a new era in which everyday objects — from car engines and tea kettles to home automation systems and hospital beds — are interconnected via the Internet of computing devices, enabling them to send and receive data. In the IoT, nearly everything is hackable, exposing our societies to new vulnerabilities directed at our critical infrastructures. We’re entering a new arms race, Mikko explains — the cyber arms race.
How can we fight back against threats to cybersecurity in a world in which even tea kettles can be hacked? Know your enemy. “The most important thing we can do to secure our networks is to understand who we are fighting. To do threat assessments, to understand who’s after our data, who’s after our company, who wants to hurt us — because this is different for different kinds of organizations. And this is something that affects everybody.”