December LAE Faculty Forum to explore ethics and cybersecurity

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The 2023-24 College of Liberal Arts and Education Faculty Forum Series will continue on Thursday, Dec. 7 with “The Breach that Closes a College.” Dr. Dale Murray, professor of philosophy, will present a case study that explores ethical considerations for how to handle ransomware attacks on a college campus. Tony Hayes, UW-Platteville’s chief information officer, will provide the response.

“As this case study is meant as a pedagogical tool, I will present arguments for and against paying ransoms demanded by cyber criminals who have breached institutional data networks,” said Murray. “This will hopefully generate a stimulating discussion about what morally permissible responses could look like.”

The case study Murray will present is a selection from his own manuscript, “Adventures in Applied Ethics.” The topic was inspired by a UW-Platteville Information Technology Services session he attended last year, where presenters shared two examples of universities whose information systems were hacked and held for ransom.

“I was so fascinated by the case that I dug into it some more,” said Murray. “It was intriguing to consider what the background reasons were for the ways hacked institutions responded to ransom demands to try to get back their data. And, of course, some of these reasons are grounded in moral considerations. This also made this case an ideal candidate for inclusion in the casebook, as it is meant as a text for students to work through these issues.”

Open to the public, the forum will take place in Room 136, Doudna Hall from 5-6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The LAE Faculty Forum Series, a program instituted in the fall of 2004, is sponsored by UW-Platteville's College of Liberal Arts and Education. The purpose of the forum is to allow faculty to present information in their research areas. Presenters tailor their presentations to a general audience.