BootstrapLabs AAI18 Panel – Applied AI and Cybersecurity: Making the Enterprise More Secure

Over the next several weeks we’ll be releasing the videos from the sessions from the BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference 2018. The yearly conference organized by BootstrapLabs, a leading Venture Capital firm focused on Applied AI, that brings together over 800 members of the Artificial Intelligence community for a day of incredible speakers and exciting conversations.

Moderator: Debra J. Farber, Data Privacy & Security Advisor


  • Will Summerlin, Founder, Pinn Technologies
  • Chris Merz, VP Security & Decision Products, Mastercard
  • Sean Kanuck, Director of Cyber, Space and Future Conflict, IISS

During this session, the panelists discussed the future of authentication, leveraging AI to prevent and detect threats and security around databases that collect our information.

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • AI is the only way to figure out and prevent future cyber attacks, it’s impossible for people to process the abundance of data required for the analysis.
  • 81% of data breaches in 2017 were perpetuated due to a stolen password, sensor data and biometric information are the key to authentication in the future.
  • It’s important to invest in management and security for databases, all biometric puzzles turn into cybersecurity issues if the database that gathers the information can be compromised.

About Debra J. Farber:
Debra J. Farber is a data privacy and information security executive and entrepreneur with 14 years of data strategy, operations, public policy, training, product, and compliance experience. Debra served as Sr. Director, Global Public Policy (Security & Privacy) at Visa where she oversaw a portfolio of issues, including: privacy, cybercrime, cybersecurity, product security, risk and more. Debra held privacy and security leadership roles at IBM, American Express, Farber Strategies and more. Debra holds a BA in English from Binghamton University, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and is completing her Executive Certificate of Business Excellence from UC Berkeley.

About Will Summerlin:
Will Summerlin is the Founder and CEO of Pinn, a cybersecurity company using AI to solve the digital identity crisis. He’s also an advisor to Story Ventures.

About Chris Merz:
Dr. Chris Merz is the vice president of Security and Decision Products for the Enterprise Security Solutions product team at Mastercard. He is responsible for decision science and associated data strategies for real-time, transaction-level decision and fraud monitoring solutions. Since joining Mastercard in 2001, Dr. Merz has applied machine learning and data science techniques to applications in cardholder segmentation, loyalty solutions, recommender systems, and fraud detection. He holds a PhD in Information and Computer Science from the University of California – Irvine, and is a recognized researcher in Machine Learning, with over 20 published conference and journal articles. He is also an adjunct professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology since 2004.

About Sean Kanuck:
Sean serves as Director of the Future Conflict and Cyber Security program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. He advises governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs on the future of information technology. Sean served as the United States’ first National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues from 2011 to 2016. He has a decade of experience working in government including with the CIA’s Information Operations Center, the White House National Security Council, and more. Prior to government, Sean practiced law with Skadden Arps in New York, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and banking. He holds degrees from Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Oslo. He also proudly serves as a Trustee of the Center for Excellence in Education in McLean, Virginia.