Ethics in Cybersecurity - Faculty | Geneva College
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Dr. Paul Poteete presents research at the ISNR conference.

Hacking. Not exactly a pleasant term, is it? Hacking is often associated with criminals and illegal activity. What if we said Geneva was teaching students how to hack?

That is exactly what Prof. Paul W. Poteete, PhD is doing. He is putting a new spin on hacking. His research, which has been accepted, published, and presented, looks at how we can leverage hacking technology to hack into criminal websites. Dr. Poteete’s research shows how we can hack into criminal systems connected to the Internet from a law enforcement perspective.

Dr. Poteete presented this research at the International Exhibition of National Security and Resilience (ISNR), for law enforcement training to infiltrate criminal networks. In class, he allows students to learn and practice everything from introductory to advanced hacking and cutting-edge cybersecurity practices. There are plans to also present this research at the World Police Summit 2023 in Dubai.

Dr. Poteete is an avid researcher in his field, involved in a wide variety of research, writing, and presentations. One topic area he is particularly passionate about is the socio-technical implications of machine monitoring, the human mind, and predictive policing. As technology progresses, there are more and more conversations about artificial intelligence, using technology to predict behavior, and monitoring people’s thoughts and actions. Part of Dr. Poteete’s passion is to be a good steward of the technology and capabilities of his field.

“There are a lot of benefits to new technologies, but there are also a lot of negatives we need to consider. For example, if your boss was looking over your shoulder for mistakes 24/7, 365 days a year, you would suffer increased anxiety, blood pressure, antisocial behavior, and so on. In many ways, this is what advances in machine monitoring and surveillance is doing to people.”

Dr. Poteete finds it imperative to ask the question: “How much is it damaging society?”

Throughout his education and career, he has gained a lot of practical and technical information that is valuable to our students, but he doesn’t want to stop there.

“I want students to think about the morality of what they are doing and the implications of what we are creating and doing. It matters.”

Cybersecurity and Computer Science are fields that can sometimes be difficult to work and advance in as a Christian. Dr. Poteete describes that it is necessary for Christians to be going into these fields and asking the hard questions.

“Technology is all around us and will play a role in all our lives. How will it play a role and affect our spiritual lives if all the people feeding technology data and programming the algorithms are atheist?”

He challenges his students to perform at the highest level of technical knowledge, while pursuing service to the Lord. Technology, computer science, and cybersecurity are rapidly changing fields that impact our lives greatly, for better or for worse.

At Geneva we challenge our students to think deeper and approach these topics critically, inquisitively, and boldly to best follow their calling and serve their industry well.

Feb 1, 2023

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