As summer winds down in the Northern hemisphere, we offer a series of podcast interviews for your last-minute vacation listening (or reading) before the pace of business picks up in the fall. As you’ll see below, the topics are diverse – ranging from information security and real estate to future agenda items for the World Economic Forum and entrepreneurship in Middle Eastern education. We hope you’ll find something to download and enjoy (or print, since the podcasts include transcripts).

Information Security: Why Cybercriminals Are Smiling

With Internet usage forecast to grow 45% globally over the next four years, the web has become a paradise for cybercriminals. Many people don’t yet fully understand the enormity of the threat — to individuals, their families and the companies that they work for, warns Andrea M. Matwyshyn, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton and editor of a forthcoming book titled, Harboring Data: Information Security, Law and the Corporation. In an interview with Knowledge at Wharton, Matwyshyn and two of the book’s contributors discuss the major risk management gaps that are leaving valuable data assets unprotected.

Peter Linneman on Real Estate: The Storm Is Over, the Wreckage Remains

Although some upbeat economic news in recent weeks might indicate the beginning of the end of the recession, there’s still plenty of "wreckage" to deal with, says Wharton real estate professor Peter D. Linneman. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the housing and commercial property sectors, which have taken one of their worst beatings ever. In an interview with Knowledge at Wharton, Linneman draws on policy missteps of the past to caution the Obama administration to tread carefully and avoid "trying to cure things they can’t cure," while contending that the U.S. might have more in common with countries like Venezuela, Russia and Japan than most observers think.

Connecting the Dots at the World Economic Forum: ‘We Can No Longer Face Global Issues Alone’

Economic progress, ethics and social entrepreneurship are three themes that have long had a place on the agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF), well before phrases like "subprime lending" had crossed the lips of bankers and Wall Street investors. But how can these and other global topics remain relevant during today’s market turbulence? To answer that question, Knoweldge@Wharton spoke with Gilbert Probst, WEF managing director and dean of the Geneva-based, non-profit think tank’s Global Leadership Fellows program; Tiffany West, associate director and Global Leadership Fellow, Program Development team; and Ana Karinna Sepulveda, project manager for the WEF’s Global Education Initiative.

Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan: ‘There Is No Substitute for Education if We Want to Have a Better World’

When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) became a nation in the early 1970s, it had neither a formal education system nor a university to call its own. Today, however, with new private and public universities springing up across the emirates, the UAE sees a larger role for itself as a promoter of peace and economic development through education, according to Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the nation’s minister of higher education and scientific research. In an interview with Knowledge at Wharton, Sheikh Nahayan discusses various UAE education initiatives, the impact of technology in and outside the classroom, and what he would envision to be an ideal education system.

Education as an Export: Tayeb Kamali on the UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology

What’s in a name? Plenty, when you’re an entrepreneur starting up a new business, says Tayeb Kamali, who recalls the struggle to convince others in the early days of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) that the United Arab Emirates’ new government-sponsored university needed a name that would be associated with leading-edge education in the Arab region. However, as HCT’s Abu Dhabi-based vice chancellor explains in an interview with Knowledge at Wharton, that particular challenge was short-lived given the rapid recognition — in academia and industry — of the growing importance that the Internet and other technologies have in developing future generations of global business leaders.

Farhad Mohit: DotSpots and the Wisdom of Crowds

Entrepreneur Farhad Mohit is hardly resting on his laurels, although he could. In 1996, he launched BizRate, a consumer rating site, and then in 2004, Shopzilla, a shopping search engine. His latest venture is DotSpots, a service that lets people update the news in real-time with dots, or distributed objects of thought. These could include mini-blog posts containing text, videos, images, documents, perspectives from the blogosphere or eye-witness accounts from the scene. Mohit talked with Knowledge at Wharton about DotSpots, the publishing industry, the wisdom of crowds, what he learned from his previous successes and the importance of finding the right team, among other topics.