May 6 STEM Café to spotlight cyber security

CyberGuyFrom Heartbleed to cyberbullying to the recent security breaches at Target, the Internet can be a dangerous place for people and data. Experts estimate that cyber crime accounts for losses of $100 billion to $3 trillion every year.

At the next STEM Café, Raimund Ege, associate professor in NIU’s Department of Computer Science, will lead a lively discussion on how computer crime affects our everyday lives and what we can do to protect ourselves and our data. The event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Claddagh Irish Pub, 1702 Commons Drive in Geneva.

Ege created NIU’s Graduate Certificate on CyberSecurity and is an active computer science and information security researcher with over 25 years of experience. He also conducts cyber security webinars for small business owners in conjunction with NIU Springboard.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, Ege says. In a recent survey of small business owners by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec, 83 percent had no formal cyber security plan. The study also showed that attacks on small, poorly protected companies were usually fatal to the business.

NIU Stem Cafe logoCyber security isn’t just a concern for corporations.

“Many of us conduct large aspects of our personal lives online – banking, social media, credit card usage. I want people to come away with a better understanding of the importance of protecting one’s data,” Ege says. “I want to share best practices for online life.”

This event is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafés. The events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from the host restaurant.

The STEM Café series is just one of STEM Outreach’s many engaging events to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in today’s rapidly changing world.

For more information, call (815) 753-4751 or email jdymond@niu.edu.

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