Connected Nation - Interview: Miranda Mowbray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Miranda Mowbray is a data scientist working at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Labs, finding new ways of analysing data to detect attacks on computer networks. She completed her PhD research on Algebra, at London University and was awarded a fellowship of the British Computer Society in 2009.

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Miranda Mowbray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

I’m Miranda Mowbray, I work in the Security and Manageability Labs of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and I was in the panel on Security and Privacy. We talked a lot about the Internet of Things, what we can do to improve the security and privacy of the Internet of Things. One panellist was a lawyer who talked about the legal aspects; I talked about the technical aspects. We also talked about what to do about the next generation to ensure that there are more people working in security.

I think a really good message well-expressed was in the general session, actually at the beginning of the session that I’ve just been to. One of the speakers actually said, we should stop and think what kind of connected world we want. Why are we doing this? Not just chase after the next cool piece of technology, but think about where we're heading; I think that’s good message. One message that I brought myself that I wanted to get through is, the Internet of Things at the moment is not secure, it’s not private, and we need to start now on fixing it. And anyone who's involved in creating a thing ought to go and look at the OWASP guidelines and see if they can improve the security and privacy of their own device.

I think there's a lot of overlap, in fact what I mainly work on is using big data, which was the third session, to find attacks on computer networks. So I’m in the intersection of big data and security, and I was talking about the Internet of Things. These three are intimately intertwined and we need to be thinking about all of them at the same time. It's a never ending game. We have adversaries who are changing their strategies, and we need to change our strategies to defend against them. That's why you need research. Also because of the changes in technology, because of the rise of Big Data and the Internet of Things, we're having new challenges and new hardware, new software, new ways of using these things and these are going to have security and particularly privacy, I think, implications. And we did touch on that a little bit.

When I came here, I see that pretty much thematic unity, as I said there seems to be a convergence between people in different disciplines, thinking about similar problems that are coming up, and similar promises that are coming up, with terrific social potential for the use of technology and how that will reshape our societies. If you want to engage with a researcher, they're always really happy to talk about their work, so if you can’t think of something to say, ask them what they’re working on. But if you want to have a longer time engagement with them, tell them an interesting problem; by which I mean technically difficult and with social benefit. They will love you for that.