29 Amazing TED Cybersecurity Talks (2008 – 2017)

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If you are a new visitor to our website then here’s what we do: we list a ton of information on Cybersecurity Conferences taking place around the world.

With our interest in IT Security events we thought it to be only logical to share some awesome Cybersecurity TED Talks that we have watched and wanted to share with you, and here it is!

For those also new to TED and the smaller TEDx, they are an organization that promote some really great (inspirational) talks.

Pro Tip!

Download these videos on your phone and enjoy them on your daily commute. Some of them are really very inspirational and thought-provoking.

Our Recommended Cybersecurity TED Talks

Heads Up! The talks that we highly recommend in the table below are in red!

Your Smartphone Is A Civil Rights Issue
Christopher Soghoian | October 2016

The smartphone you use reflects more than just personal taste … it could determine how closely you can be tracked, too. Privacy expert and TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian details a glaring difference between the encryption used on Apple and Android devices and urges us to pay attention to a growing digital security divide. “If the only people who can protect themselves from the gaze of the government are the rich and powerful, that’s a problem,” he says. “It’s not just a cybersecurity problem — it’s a civil rights problem.”


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The 1s and 0s Behind Cyber Warfare
Chris Domas | June 2014

Chris Domas is a cybersecurity researcher, operating on what’s become a new front of war, “cyber.” In this engaging talk, he shows how researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering (and pull a few all-nighters) to understand a chunk of binary code whose purpose and contents they don’t know.


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Hackers: The Internet's Immune System
Keren Elazari | June 2014

The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.


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Hire The Hackers!
Misha Glenny | September 2011

Despite multibillion-dollar investments in cybersecurity, one of its root problems has been largely ignored: who are the people who write malicious code? Underworld investigator Misha Glenny profiles several convicted coders from around the world and reaches a startling conclusion.


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How (And Why) Russia Hacked The Us Election
Laura Galante | May 2017

Hacking, fake news, information bubbles … all these and more have become part of the vernacular in recent years. But as cyberspace analyst Laura Galante describes in this alarming talk, the real target of anyone looking to influence geopolitics is dastardly simple: it’s you.


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Hack A Banana, Make A Keyboard!
Jay Silver | May 2013

Why can’t two slices of pizza be used as a slide clicker? Why shouldn’t you make music with ketchup? In this charming talk, inventor Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you. He shares some of his messiest inventions, and demos MaKey MaKey, a kit for hacking everyday objects.


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Governments Don’t Understand Cyber Warfare. We Need Hackers
Rodrigo Bijou | December 2015

The Internet has transformed the front lines of war, and it’s leaving governments behind. As security analyst Rodrigo Bijou shows, modern conflict is being waged online between non-state groups, activists and private corporations, and the digital landscape is proving to be fertile ground for the recruitment and radicalization of terrorists. Meanwhile, draconian surveillance programs are ripe for exploitation. Bijou urges governments to end mass surveillance programs and shut “backdoors” — and he makes a bold call for individuals to step up.


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Why Good Hackers Make Good Citizens
Catherine Bracy | February 2014

Hacking is about more than mischief-making or political subversion. As Catherine Bracy describes in this spirited talk, it can be just as much a force for good as it is for evil. She spins through some inspiring civically-minded projects in Honolulu, Oakland and Mexico City — and makes a compelling case that we all have what it takes to get involved.


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All Your Devices Can Be Hacked
Avi Rubin | February 2012

Could someone hack your pacemaker? Avi Rubin shows how hackers are compromising cars, smartphones and medical devices, and warns us about the dangers of an increasingly hack-able world.


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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Anthony D. Romero | May 2017

In a quest to make sense of the political environment in the United States in 2017, lawyer and ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero turned to a surprising place — a 14th-century fresco by Italian Renaissance master Ambrogio Lorenzetti. What could a 700-year-old painting possibly teach us about life today? Turns out, a lot. Romero explains all in a talk that’s as striking as the painting itself.


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How The Blockchain Will Radically Transform The Economy
Bettina Warburg | November 2016

Say hello to the decentralized economy — the blockchain is about to change everything. In this lucid explainer of the complex (and confusing) technology, Bettina Warburg describes how the blockchain will eliminate the need for centralized institutions like banks or governments to facilitate trade, evolving age-old models of commerce and finance into something far more interesting: a distributed, transparent, autonomous system for exchanging value.


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We Can Fight Terror Without Sacrificing Our Rights
Rebecca MacKinnon | September 2016

Can we fight terror without destroying democracy? Internet freedom activist Rebecca MacKinnon thinks that we’ll lose the battle against extremism and demagoguery if we censor the internet and press. In this critical talk, she calls for a doubling-down on strong encryption and appeals to governments to better protect, not silence, the journalists and activists fighting against extremists.


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How The Blockchain Is Changing Money And Business
Don Tapscott | August 2016

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.


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Art That Lets You Talk Back To NSA Spies
Mathias Jud | October 2015

In 2013, the world learned that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government. Amid the outrage, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter thought: Well, if they’re listening … let’s talk to them. With antennas mounted on the roof of the Swiss Embassy in Berlin’s government district, they set up an open network that let the world send messages to US and UK spies listening nearby. It’s one of three bold, often funny, and frankly subversive works detailed in this talk, which highlights the world’s growing discontent with surveillance and closed networks.


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How Fear Drives American Politics
David Rothkopf | September 2015

Does it seem like Washington has no new ideas? Instead of looking to build the future, it sometimes feels like the US political establishment happily retreats into fear and willful ignorance. Journalist David Rothkopf lays out a few of the major issues that US leadership is failing to address — from cybercrime to world-shaking new tech to the reality of modern total war — and calls for a new vision that sets fear aside.


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How To Avoid Surveillance … With The Phone In Your Pocket
Christopher Soghoian | August 2015

Who is listening in on your phone calls? On a landline, it could be anyone, says privacy activist Christopher Soghoian, because surveillance backdoors are built into the phone system by default, to allow governments to listen in. But then again, so could a foreign intelligence service … or a criminal. Which is why, says Soghoian, some tech companies are resisting governments’ call to build the same backdoors into mobile phones and new messaging systems. From this TED Fellow, learn how some tech companies are working to keep your calls and messages private.


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Think Your Email’s Private? Think Again
Andy Yen | March 2015

Sending an email message is like sending a postcard, says scientist Andy Yen in this thought-provoking talk: Anyone can read it. Yet encryption, the technology that protects the privacy of email communication, does exist. It’s just that until now it has been difficult to install and a hassle to use. Showing a demo of an email program he designed with colleagues at CERN, Yen argues that encryption can be made simple to the point of becoming the default option, providing true email privacy to all.


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What’s Wrong With Your Pa$$w0rd?
Lorrie Faith Cranor | June 2014

Lorrie Faith Cranor studied thousands of real passwords to figure out the surprising, very common mistakes that users — and secured sites — make to compromise security. And how, you may ask, did she study thousands of real passwords without compromising the security of any users? That’s a story in itself. It’s secret data worth knowing, especially if your password is 123456 …


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Protecting Twitter Users (Sometimes From Themselves)
Del Harvey | March 2014

Del Harvey heads up Twitter’s Trust and Safety Team, and she thinks all day about how to prevent worst-case scenarios — abuse, trolling, stalking — while giving voice to people around the globe. With deadpan humor, she offers a window into how she works to keep 240 million users safe.


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How The NSA Betrayed The World’s Trust — Time To Act
Mikko Hypponen | November 2013

Recent events have highlighted, underlined and bolded the fact that the United States is performing blanket surveillance on any foreigner whose data passes through an American entity — whether they are suspected of wrongdoing or not. This means that, essentially, every international user of the internet is being watched, says Mikko Hypponen. An important rant, wrapped with a plea: to find alternative solutions to using American companies for the world’s information needs.


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Your Online Life, Permanent As A Tattoo
Juan Enriquez | May 2013

What if Andy Warhol had it wrong, and instead of being famous for 15 minutes, we’re only anonymous for that long? In this short talk, Juan Enriquez looks at the surprisingly permanent effects of digital sharing on our personal privacy. He shares insight from the ancient Greeks to help us deal with our new “digital tattoos.”


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The Rise Of Human-computer Cooperation
Shyam Sankar | September 2012

Brute computing force alone can’t solve the world’s problems. Data mining innovator Shyam Sankar explains why solving big problems (like catching terrorists or identifying huge hidden trends) is not a question of finding the right algorithm, but rather the right symbiotic relationship between computation and human creativity.


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James Stavridis | July 2012

Imagine global security driven by collaboration — among agencies, government, the private sector and the public. That’s not just the distant hope of open-source fans, it’s the vision of James Stavridis, a US Navy Admiral. Stavridis shares vivid moments from recent military history to explain why security of the future should be built with bridges rather than walls


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How To Fool A GPS
Todd Humphreys | July 2012

Todd Humphreys forecasts the near-future of geolocation when millimeter-accurate GPS “dots” will enable you to find pin-point locations, index-search your physical possessions … or to track people without their knowledge. And the response to the sinister side of this technology may have unintended consequences of its own.


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A Vision Of Crimes In The Future
Marc Goodman | July 2012

The world is becoming increasingly open, and that has implications both bright and dangerous. Marc Goodman paints a portrait of a grave future, in which technology’s rapid development could allow crime to take a turn for the worse.


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A New Way To Stop Identity Theft
David Birch | June 2012

Bartenders need to know your age, retailers need your PIN, but almost no one actually needs your name — except for identity thieves. ID expert David Birch proposes a safer approach to personal identification — a “fractured” approach — that would almost never require your real name.


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FBI, Here I Am!
Hasan Elahi | October 2011

After he ended up on a watch list by accident, Hasan Elahi was advised by his local FBI agents to let them know when he was traveling. He did that and more … much more.


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How Cyberattacks Threaten Real-world Peace
Guy-Philippe Goldstein | October 2011

Nations can now attack other nations with cyber weapons: silent strikes on another country’s computer systems, power grids, dams that leave no trace behind. (Think of the Stuxnet worm.) Guy-Philippe Goldstein shows how cyberattacks can leap between the digital and physical worlds to prompt armed conflict — and how we might avert this global security hazard


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The Security Mirage
Bruce Schneier | April 2011

The feeling of security and the reality of security don’t always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. In his talk, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the “security theater” now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks — and how we can break this pattern.


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What Security Means To Me
Eve Ensler | September 2008

Playwright Eve Ensler explores our modern craving for security — and why it makes us less secure. Listen for inspiring, heartbreaking stories of women making change.


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