technology | September 06, 2017

Critical Thinking is the New Firewall: Cybersecurity Analyst Laura Galante’s New TED Talk

“Our realities are increasingly based on the information that we’re consuming in the palm of our hand” says leading cybersecurity analyst Laura Galante in her recent TED Talk. Brilliantly, Galante shows not only how we’re being deceived, but more vitally, ways we can protect ourselves.   

Citing examples of the past election cycle, which saw information disseminated and weaponized in unprecedented ways, Galante vividly outlines how the Russian government was first to recognize the potential to turn our minds into “the most exploitable device on the planet.” Thanks to an unobstructed flow of information on Facebook, Twitter, and myriad news sites, our minds our primed for whatever enters that infinite feed. As Galante concisely puts it, “This panorama of information that’s so interesting to you gives a state, or anyone for that matter, a perfect back door into your mind.” 


“The Russian government was the first to recognize how this evolution had turned your mind into the most exploitable device on the planet.”

— Laura Galante

As the the effects of fake news and alleged government leaks prove, Russia and other likeminded organizations hoping to destabilize another nation knows that our open minds are our “greatest vulnerability.”  Fed lies, or tampered truths, we begin questioning everything. But, argues Galante, our greatest vulnerability is also our most powerful asset. In the complex and often volatile domain of cyberspace, “there’s no encryption, there’s no firewall, no two-factor authentication, no password complex enough to protect you,” she says. “What you have for defense is far stronger, it’s more adaptable, it’s always running the latest version. It’s the ability to think critically: call out falsehood, press for the facts. And above all, you must have the courage to unflinchingly pursue the truth.”


Galante is both a leading voice and trusted authority for organizations and media seeking plain-spoken, lucid explanations of the phenomenon discussed in her TED Talk. She has been cited extensively on CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, BBC, Fox News, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more. In November 2016, Galante spoke at the UN Security Council’s meeting on cybersecurity and international peace and security.


In her keynotes, Galante further outlines how we can equip ourselves to assess the massive quantities of information that we absorb online all day. She stresses the need for a greater cyber-fluency: how it’s up to us, and not rarified tech experts, to gain a working knowledge of the field. In the age of information, critical thinking has never been more crucial—and with Galante, we can renew our commitment to honoring, and questioning, the truth. 

How (and why) Russia hacked the US election | Laura Galante


Learn more about other speakers in Laura Galante’s fascinating field by browsing our digital techology speaker topic.  

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