Manipulated: Theresa Payton’s Book on Digital Deception

Manipulated Theresa Payton’s Book on Digital Deception
Photo Courtesy: Theresa Payton, Fortalice Solutions

By: Taylor Graveline

Misinformation and digital deception have become more rampant now that virtually everyone can access the internet and own digital devices. Theresa Payton, the first female Chief Information Officer of the White House, Founder of Fortalice, and a leading cybersecurity expert, has taken on the challenge of equipping individuals and organizations with the tools and knowledge to navigate this tricky landscape. Her new book, Manipulated, aims to shed light on the evolving tactics of cybercriminals and provide actionable insights to quickly identify these threats with discerning eyes.

The Inspiration Behind “Manipulated”

Theresa Payton’s concern about the pervasive impact of digital deception on society was the driving force behind her book Manipulated. She explains, “Understanding how information can be manipulated is crucial in our interconnected world. I was motivated to release a second version because the cybersecurity landscape constantly evolves — new threats emerge, technologies advance, and the tactics of bad actors become more sophisticated. I felt it was imperative to update the book to reflect these changes and provide readers with the most current information to protect themselves and their organizations.”

As we approach another critical election season for multiple countries around the globe, understanding the sophisticated tactics that threaten democratic processes has never been more vital. Theresa highlights the significant updates in the new edition:

“By collaborating with Frank Abagnale in the Prologue and adding new content, I aim to equip readers with the latest insights and strategies to safeguard against these evolving digital threats. This new edition of ‘Manipulated’ includes an expanded discussion on the threats posed by deepfakes, the growing role of artificial intelligence in cyber attacks and defense, and the impact of social media manipulation on public opinion and behavior.” Additionally, Payton has included new case studies and practical advice on how individuals and organizations can safeguard against these emerging threats. “There are several new and free tools that can assist both individuals and businesses in combating the misuse of technology that is leading to fraud, cybercrime, and the spread of misinformation and disinformation,” she added.

The goal is to equip readers with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate this increasingly complex digital landscape.

Theresa hopes that readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of how digital manipulation works and its potential consequences. She emphasizes the importance of digital literacy and critical thinking to recognize the signs of digital deception, understand the mechanics behind cyber attacks, and learn proactive measures to protect personal and organizational data.

The Challenges and Rewards of Writing

According to Theresa, writing a book on such a complex subject as cybersecurity is both challenging and rewarding. She shared some of her favorite parts of revisiting and writing the new edition, such as interviewing Frank Abagnale to hear his take on how things have changed for the everyday ‘conman.’ Diving into the latest research and case studies to provide up-to-date examples and actionable advice, Payton employed an interactive approach by sharing these concepts with acquaintances to gauge their take on the matter. She also enjoyed the process of turning complex ideas into accessible, engaging content that can be relatable to a broad audience.

Future Developments in Cybersecurity

Theresa believes that several developments in cybersecurity and digital ethics are crucial. She plans to contribute to these advancements through Fortalice’s client engagements, continued advocacy, public speaking, and writing. She also advocates for stronger regulations and frameworks to address the ethical use of AI and machine learning, particularly regarding privacy and data protection. She also encourages enhancing public awareness and education on digital literacy, which are crucial elements in staying ahead of the curve.

“I plan to contribute to these advancements through Fortalice’s work with our clients, continued advocacy, public speaking, and writing. My future works will focus on these emerging issues, offering insights and practical advice to help individuals and organizations navigate the complexities of our digital world. I am committed to fostering a safer, more ethical digital environment through continuous learning, sharing, and collaboration.”

If you want to equip yourself and your organization with the recommended practices to make informed decisions and proactively combat cyber threats, Manipulated offers a comprehensive guide to help you achieve just that. The book’s expert insights can enhance your understanding of the latest security protocols, teach you strategies to identify and mitigate risks and help you stay ahead of potential threats.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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