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<< Thursday, December 05, 2013 >>


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Thomas Maillart

TRUST Security Seminar: The Statistics of Data Breaches and Privacy Erosion

Seminar | December 5 | 1-2 p.m. | Soda Hall, Wozniak Lounge


Thomas Maillart, University of California, Berkeley

Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST)


Personal data and identities have become the new ore for lawful online marketing and advertising as well as for a variety of criminal activities. Sound risk management requires us to characterize and to quantify the statistics of data breaches for the sake of designing efficient preventive measures as well as remedies such as cyber insurance products. Building on a set of nearly seven thousand empirical records, we show that the risk of data breaches is "wildly" heavy-tailed. Combined with a fast growing exponential trend of event records, data breach is perhaps one of the most extreme risks ever witnessed in human history, putting at stake the privacy of billions of individuals. These alarming results have important implications for policy makers as well as for the development of the insurance industry. They also help outline a research agenda for the development of quantitative risk modeling in the cyber sphere.

Dr. Thomas Maillart is a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow in the School of Information at UC Berkeley. His research is focused on the complex social dynamics of peer-production, and on the mechanisms of cyber risks.

He received his Ph.D. in Science from ETH Zurich, and graduated (M.S.) in Engineering from EPFL. In 2007, he co-founded a managed cyber risks monitoring company, which was sold to the Swiss Military Concern (RUAG) in 2012. Thomas Maillart regularly consults for information sensitive companies, the insurance industry, and for governments.


General Public

General Public

Lunch is offered


cawinter@berkeley.edu, 510-643-8425