Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cybersecurity and Financial Services and Prescriptive Analytics

Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking on Cybersecurity and Financial Services at the INFORMS Analytics Conference in Boston. The conference was very well-organized, the venue at the Westin Waterfront hotel was marvelous, and the speakers came from both industry (many of the top analytics firms as developers and/or users were there) and academia. Also, there were many students and even a good-sized cohot from our UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, which I highlighted in one of my posts.

I had multiple roles at this conference, which made the experience extra rewarding, and INFORMS staff presented me with the nice streamers below.

My talk was in the Prescriptive Analytics track, which was appropriate, and Dr. Marius Solomon of Northeastern University introduced me. I have known Marius for many years through the Transportation & Logistics Society of INFORMS. He shared with me that there were 104 submissions for presentations and out of these 30 were selected. I had carefully thought about the topics that I would like to speak on and chose Cybersecurity and Financial Services since I believe that cybersecurity is a topic that could greatly benefit from analytics and operations research methodologies and the wonderful geeks and brainiacs in our professional community for whom tough problems are both challenging and enticing!

It was great to have Dr. Irv Lustig of IBM  in the audience and some of you may know that Irv was also an Applied Math major at Brown University and I was his TA for an operations research  course taught there by my dissertation advisor Professor Stella Dafermos. Irv is well-known at INFORMS and very active in its Certified Analytics Professional program.   I posted a photo of Irv and me in my previous blogpost. 

Irv asked good questions, but, then again, he has had an outstanding education (his doctoral dissertation advisor at Stanford was Professor George Dantzig, one of the founders of Operations Research). And we continued the discussion after my presentation. Great to hear that IBM is also interested in Financial Networks!

In my presentation I spoke about a project that was funded by the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) and then segued into our NSF project.
My full presentation, in pdf format, can be downloaded from the Supernetworks Center website.

In the presentation I highlighted a network model that we developed to assess financial network vulnerability and importance of different financial network components, described a network economic model of cyber crime, and also discussed our latest NSF project on envisioning a Future Internet Architecture that we are calling ChoiceNet. Imagine if we could enhance the resilience of the network through redesign.

Thanks to INFORMS for organizing such a fabulous analytics conference!