David McKinnis stops by Seidenberg for a chat about Cyber Security
David McKinnis, current CTO of Suretech.com, stop by the Seidenberg School last Wednesday, 2/13, to talk to students about cyber security and how they can better prepare their programs for real world applications. McKinnis attended Yale University and, after graduation, went to work Microsoft. In his thirteen years at Microsoft he had the opportunity to work on a variety of software projects in the Office Development Group. David held a variety of positions at Microsoft including Development Team Lead and Development Manager. After he left Microsoft, he started David McKinnis Consulting to help non-profits and small businesses use technology more effectively. McKinnis’s talk focused on the notion that developers can’t trust their users. The user may input data into the form of application that will cause problems with the software or website. Or even worse they may try to deliberately exploit a system for nefarious purposes after all a piece of code can’t tell an actual user from a hacker. McKinnis reminded students to sanitize their input data to avoid problematic interactions with their software. And then making a comparison to a bank he reminded them to somehow check the data – a bank wouldn’t trust a sack with a dollar sign on it and so a program shouldn’t blindly trust user data. He also reminded students to be safe using their own machines. You may not have sensitive data stored on your computer but hackers would still love to turn it into a bot for nefarious purpose. Overall it was a great session that left a lot of students more informed about the principles of cyber security they should be aware of. Be sure to stop by next Wednesday for another great speaker as part of the Seidenberg School Speaker Series.