A collaboration of the UD Cybersecurity Initiative and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information
Cybersecurity in Delaware
A Discussion With:
Delaware CIO James Collins
Delaware CSO Solomon Adote
Friday, February 15, 2019 from 10-11 a.m.
As the number of ‘smart’ cities grow, will they also become safer?
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a larger series of Q&As that originated in the future-focused UD Magazine. To see additional questions, please visit the Envisioning the Future website.
Smart cities can be safer, but only if cybersecurity is the driving force. By nature, these cities will depend heavily on digital data collection and massive surveillance, which forms the backbone of the system to keep traffic flowing safely. This digital information has to be protected.
The challenge will be safeguarding multiple layers of data-sharing, including the organizations supplying the information, the connected devices that acquire and exchange data, and networks that circulate digital data in cyberspace. Weak cyberspace will create new problems, including false understanding of the data, unreliable predictive crime analytics, and hackers, who could disrupt the daily activities of a city. Also, one question that needs to be addressed is how blockchain and quantum computing will change the landscape of the smart cities initiatives. Could blockchain’s encryption add a defense layer to better protect citizens? Only time — and proactive, concerted efforts to make our cities safer — will tell.
Prof. Nii Attoh-Okine, the interim academic director of the University of Delaware’s Cybersecurity Initiative, is currently working on Smart Cities and cybersecurity issues related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Under his leadership, UD is one of just a few universities in the United States partnering with Japanese universities to achieve Society 5.0, a smart society proposed by the Japanese government.
Benjamin Franklin once said “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” a statement that rings true for many college students, especially as they look toward future employment.
Local students and faculty from Harford Community College and the University of Delaware recently followed his recommendation during a tour of U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) Nov. 28 as part of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command’s (ATEC) Educational Partnership Initiative.
The students, studying science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and cyber security fields, toured the breadth of ATC’s testing capabilities to see practical applications of their studies in the workforce.
“I think that any opportunity to see your major being used in the field is worth your time,” said Brent Rutledge, a junior and computer engineering major at the University of Delaware. “You never know. Maybe you’ll find something that is the thing you want to do, but you didn’t know that’s what you wanted to do until you went out there and found it.”
Along with a tour of ATC, students and faculty learned about hiring processes, internship opportunities and the benefits of working for the federal government. Human resource specialists and current student interns from ATEC, the U.S. Army Evaluation Center (AEC) and ATC also shared insights and provided mentorship to the students.
For Pam Karwowski, Director for Government, Contractor and IT Training at Harford Community College, bringing students to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) is critical and helps to make applying for the federal government less intimidating.
“That’s really the big thing. Let the students really see what APG does,” said Karwowski. “When they see people that look like them and they hear from recent graduates, they think ‘oh, it’s a possibility. I can do this.'”
John Feser, a freshman and cyber security major at Harford Community College agreed.
“Seeing people doing stuff like this gets the motivational juices flowing and gets me inspired,” said Feser. “It also shows me what I can do and what I can work towards.”
The Educational Partnership Initiative arose from a strategic analysis of ATEC’s workforce, a process that identified gaps in mission critical occupations (MCO). In making connections with local colleges and universities, the project will educate individuals on the process to qualify for those critical mission requirements, according to Alissa Atanasio, a Human Resources Specialist with the Acquisition, Readiness and Development Branch, ATEC Human Resources Directorate.
“By hosting tours, ATEC will create awareness throughout the local educational community and build mutually beneficial partnerships wherein students will view federal service as a positive career option,” said Atanasio. “We can build a talent pipeline aligned to our MCOs.”
In the future, Atanasio hopes to see the Educational Partnership Initiative steadily grow and add experiential, hands-on components.
“Our hope is to see more STEM students seek out ATEC as a premier place to work and for faculty to continue connecting us with their students,” said Atanasio.
For Rutledge, the main takeaway for the students was simple: “Working here would be cool!”
This story originally appeared on Army.mil. Story/photo credit: Heather Roelker.
Patrick Cronin, Charles Gouert and Fateme Hosseini won first place at the 2018 Embedded Security Competition (ESC) in North America. ESC is one of the oldest research-oriented hardware security competitions in the world that focuses on hacking IoT & embedded devices. ESC is organized in North America, Europe and India during the Cyber Security Awareness Worldwide (CSAW) events, and at the NA finals, our students competed against other universities, including Texas A&M, UF, UCF, UNCC, UNH and UMBC. Our team developed robust covert channels for exfiltrating sensitive data from IoT smart bulbs at distances of 75 feet using a telescope and a luminosity/color sensor, which received the highest score from an independent panel of eight industry-expect judges.
This October is the 15th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual, month-long celebration of cybersecurity in recognition of the growing importance it plays throughout our lives.
Led jointly by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM helps educate the public about safe computing and information practices. Throughout October, the government and more than 600 public and private organizations nationwide champion the cybersecurity cause.
Here at the University of Delaware, we celebrate NCSAM with weekly resources, awareness training, and events like IT’s Tech Open House.
Visit us during the Tech Open House on October 23! Be sure to stop by the Trabant Multipurpose Room between 11:00am and 2:00pm to explore IT’s many services, discuss how IT can help keep you secure, and enjoy a free lunch.