November 2, 2016

CLTC Seminar Series Continues with Steve Walker of Cobaltix

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img_8969 On Nov. 1, CLTC continued our Fall 2016 Seminar Series with a interactive presentation by Steve Walker, CEO of Cobaltix, a business technology and consulting firm based in San Francisco.

A UC Berkeley alum with extensive experience in cybersecurity, Walker works primarily with small multi-billion-dollar companies (venture capital funds, hedge funds, traders, foundations, and other types of companies). He was previously a senior technologist (focusing on networking and security) at Bechtel, Hammersly Consulting, Cohesive, 3Com, Exodus, and Good Technology, and as a consultant he has worked with clients all over Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Walker’s presentation focused on a “Day in the Life,” as he walked through a scenario of a typical day on his job helping clients through challenging situations. Specifically, he detailed a scenario in which a firm’s chief information officer was suspected of embezzling funds. “I want to see how you guys would react [in these situations],” Walker told the audience. “Security takes on different meaning when you’re talking about billions of dollars in financial assets.”

img_8963Walker’s talk illuminated how the more human dimensions of a cybersecurity investigation—including establishing authority, gaining trust, determining loyalties, and maintaining morale— go hand-in-hand with technical security measures, such as controlling access to the system, changing passwords, and closing back doors.

“In the first few hours, you don’t have to make the network totally secure; you just have to slow [the suspect] down enough so that over next few days you can shut off every possibility [he will gain access],” Walker explained. “Over time, there are going to be loyalty issues, morale issues. You have to figure out who you can trust.”