The appointment coincided with the university's annual international Book Fair, a prominent 2-week event with key activities aligned around a single theme - in this case, cybersecurity. During his brief visit to UAEH last week, he held several seminars with students and research faculty and also conducted a talk about the 2022 book 'Cybersecurity and Local Government' (co-authored with Professor Emeritus Don Norris and Ph.D. student Laura Mateczun, both from UMBC's Public Policy.)
His investiture as an Honorary International Professor took place during a solemn and tradition-laden ceremony in one of the oldest structures in Pachuca. There, his formal talk was on the need for interdisciplinarity in cybersecurity where he also used the idea of the 'hacker mindset' to stress the importance of rediscovering the spirit of critical inquiry both to enhance cybersecurity and society at large.
Dr. Forno emphasized that effectively addressing cybersecurity issues requires an understanding of things far beyond the computing and technology domains. He noted that the best hackers and cybersecurity professionals "don't simply accept technology, systems, policies, or processes at face-value - we want to know more, and so we ask difficult questions from a variety of perspectives."
He concluded by challenging students and faculty to "think broadly about the world and how you approach technology and its many risks. Ask questions. Build and (responsibly) break things. Never settle for the default configuration. Take calculated risks, acknowledge uncertainty and the possibility of failure - and learn from those experiences."
Dr. Forno looks forward to identifying and pursuing opportunities for collaboration in education and research in cybersecurity (and other areas of mutual interest) between UAEH and UMBC.