Cyber Security Vectors

Joint Computing/SCCS Seminar Series

Friday 15 May 2015, 10:00 to 12:00
39 BB 02
Open to:
Public, Staff, Students, Alumni
Dr Alastair MacWillson, Former Global Managing Director, Accenture Technology Consulting

Cyber security is now a riveting concern, a top issue in many organisations, business and government. Every speaker, every writer, every practitioner in the field of cyber security who wished that its topic, were taken seriously has got their wish. Whether we are talking about laws like the European Union Network Security Directive and the forthcoming EU Data Protection Directive, the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act Copyright Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or the non-law making, but perhaps even more significant actions that the Executive agencies are undertaking, the cyber issue has never been more at the forefront of policy.

Not only has cyber security reached the highest levels of attention, it has spread into nearly every corner of business, technology and regulation. The footprint of cyber security has surpassed the grasp of any one of us, so has the range of weaknesses and ‘vectors’ of attack that exploit system vulnerabilities. In the cyber security occupation, we seem to be getting better at what we do. We have better tools, better understood practices, and we have more and better colleagues. But are we winning the battle? This presentation looks at the scale and rising complexity of the cyber security challenge.


Dr. Alastair MacWillson

Former Global Managing Partner Technology Consulting, Accenture
Chair of Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP)
Various Business and Government Adviser and Non-Executive Director roles

Dr. Alastair MacWillson was formerly Global Managing Partner of Technology Consulting within Accenture’s global technology service line and, for 11 years in this role, has worked with business and government leaders around the world on critical issues relating to technology strategy and risk, operational performance and management, cyber and information security, and critical infrastructure protection. He also served on the leadership council of Accenture’s technology service line.

Prior to joining Accenture in 2002, Dr. MacWillson was the global leader of the technology consulting practice in PricewaterhouseCoopers. During his time with PwC he also had responsibility for the PwC technology venture fund, which had $50m invested in new business activities, and was also the founder and interim global CEO for beTRUSTed, a managed service e-security business of PwC which, after divestment, subsequently became CyberTrust and acquired by Verizon.

Over the past 22 years Dr. MacWillson has lead technology transformation and security projects for major organizations such as World Bank, SWIFT, DTC, CBT, LSE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, NASA, QinetiQ, BP, Shell, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Ericsson, BT, Telstra and Vodafone, as well as intelligence, security and defense departments of the UK, US, European, Australian and Indian Governments. He has advised clients on information and cyber security in the nuclear research and nuclear energy sector and has worked on projects for the UKAEA and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Dr MacWillson has acted as an adviser to a number of governments on technology strategy critical infrastructure protection, cyber security and counter terrorism and has sat on related committees for the US and UK governments, the European Commission and the United Nations.

Prior to moving into consultancy in 1990, Dr. MacWillson worked in government service and held senior advisory positions on security and risk related strategy with the UK Foreign Office and, through secondment, with the US State Department. During his government career, Dr. MacWillson completed tours of duty in the Middle East, Moscow and Washington DC as well as working for shorter periods in a variety of other countries.

With over 23 years of experience in information technology, security and applied cryptography, Dr. MacWillson is internationally recognised as an expert in the field. As such, he is a frequent speaker and commentator on technology and security issues and his insights have been featured by some of the top media outlets such as the BBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. He is also a visiting lecturer on security and technology and has presented on many programmes with MIT, Georgetown, RHUL, Stanford, Surrey universities and the LBS. During his career Dr. MacWillson has published many articles and papers on technology and risk and has authored journals on cyber and information security, risk, cryptography and cyber terrorism, as well as a widely selling textbook on Hostage Taking Terrorism (McMillan 1992).

Dr. MacWillson has a B.Sc. in Physics, Postgraduate Diplomas in Computer Science and Digital Imaging, a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, a D.Phil. in Cryptographic Science and a Management Diploma from IMD in Lausanne.

Friday 15 May 2015

10:00 to 12:00

39 BB 02
Open to:
Public, Staff, Students, Alumni
Dr Alastair MacWillson, Former Global Managing Director, Accenture Technology Consulting

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