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Cybersecurity summit features heavy hitters.

Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

EXECUTIVE BRANCH: President Barack Obama, Stanford President John Hennessy and Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Cybersecurity Summit in February.

A White House summit on cybersecurity convened at Stanford in February, partly drawing on an array of faculty experts who are steering a broad cyberspace initiative announced by the university in late 2014.

The summit brought together leaders from the public and private sectors, most notably President Barack Obama and Apple CEO Tim Cook,to discuss the heightened challenges to network security on fronts ranging from government and law enforcement to the financial services and technology industries. For Stanford, the conference coincided with efforts to coordinate expertise across schools and departments.

Stanford has tremendous depth in the information security field, which is playing a deepening role in every facet of our lives, says law professor George Triantis, chair of Stanford’s multidisciplinary steering committee. “Stanford's new Cyber Initiative was started for the purpose of bringing experts from a wide swath of disciplines—including computer science, law, engineering, the social sciences and education—together in order to focus on this important topic and related issues.”

Topics at the summit, which addressed consumer as well as corporate protection, included public-private partnerships and information sharing, improving cybersecurity practices and technologies, and improving the adoption and use of more secure payment systems.

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