Tag Archives: Cyber

GRU hosts cybersecurity conference

Local and national cyber experts are developing ways to counteract the growing number of cyberattacks, and you could learn from them for free.

You can now register for BSidesAugusta 2015, a cybersecurity conference that gathers experts from across the country to discuss the latest on cyberattack and cyberdefense strategies. The conference will go from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 12 at Georgia Regents University.

“GRU is proud to host and help sponsor BSidesAugusta,” said Joanne Sexton, Director of Cyber Security Educational Initiatives at GRU. “Through our association with BSidesAugusta since 2013, our students, faculty and information technology staff as well as the local community have benefited from highly technical, professional cybersecurity presentations by well-known cyber industry experts.”

There is no cost to attend the conference, but space is limited. You must register by Aug. 1 on the BSidesAugusta website. All participants will receive a free t-shirt and lunch at the event.

For more information, follow @BSidesAugusta on Twitter or email BSidesAugusta@gmail.com.

NSA Director visits GRU

Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service, paid a visit to Georgia Regents University on Thursday to attend the graduation of both the Cyber and Health Science Summer Academies.

Rogers, who took over as NSA Director in 2014, also addressed CSSA students at a separate meeting to talk about the future of cybersecurity.

“Exposure to cybersecurity topics at an early stage in education is critical to the development of private and public sector workforces in which cybersecurity is an underlying competency,” Rogers said, speaking candidly with students after a short round of presentations.

During the meeting, Rogers also noted Georgia Regents University’s ongoing commitment to cyber education. With the announcement of the Cyber Institute, and as one of only a handful of universities offering summer cyber programs to high school students, GRU is uniquely poised to become one of the region’s leading cyber-education authorities.

After taking student questions, Rogers again stressed the importance of maintaining pre-college cyber programs that focus on developing skill, insight and understanding.

“GenCyber camps play a critical role in developing these important talents,” Rogers said.

Student presentations ranged from detailed accounts of key lessons taught to a live demonstration of a transposition cipher being decoded by students.

Afterward, Rogers was presented with a photo of all the CSSA participants as thanks for attending graduation.

Rackley Wren, an 18-year-old senior from Augusta Preparatory School, said that in his chosen field, meeting someone like the admiral was an unheard of honor.

“Well, Admiral Rogers is the Director of the NSA, so for me, meeting him was like meeting the president,” Wren said. “It was a tremendous honor knowing that, of all the places in the world he could have been, he came to speak to us.”

Rogers previously visited GRU last October as part of GRU’s first annual Cyber-Education Summit alongside former Senator and Vice-Chairman of U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Saxby Chambliss.

Increase in cybercrime paves way for cybersecurity investments

With the number of cyberattacks increasing and major security breaches costing big companies and the U.S. government billions of dollars a year, investing in cybersecurity is a timely decision.

“Cyber affects everyone,” said Joanne Sexton, Director for Cyber Security Educational Initiatives at GRU. “If you are connected to the Internet, this is an issue for you.”

This summer, GRU is one of 29 universities and college campuses across the country to organize and host the Cyber Sciences Summer Academy. This program will take place in two sessions starting June 21 and June 28 on the Summerville Campus. This summer academy is the result of GRU’s work with GenCyber, a program funded by the National Security Agency in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

This is the first time GRU or the Augusta area will host this kind of program,” Sexton said. “We have to teach the young minds and the public about cybersecurity. We at GRU and we as a nation have a lot of work to do.”

Recently, Chinese hackers stole personal information from about 4 million employees from virtually every U.S. government agency, officials told the media. They targeted the Office of Personnel Management, the human resources department of the U.S. government. The federal government is still assessing the impact of the cyberattack, the biggest hack to compromise federal employee data in years.

“It’s not going to be the last attack. Unfortunately, there are many,” Sexton said. “But that’s why it’s so important for us to invest in cybersecurity and learn more about it.”

Cybercrime can cost the global economy up to $575 billion per year, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee, a computer security firm. This type of crime costs the U.S. almost $108 billion or .64 percent of the country’s gross domestic product annually. The report also estimates that about 200,000 Americans could lose their jobs due to the economic losses caused by cyberattacks.

 Cyberattacks on the rise

 Cyberattacks on large companies increased 40 percent between 2013 and 2014, according to a report by Symantec, an information technology security company based in California. Last year also broke the record for “zero-day attacks” at 24 total.

A zero-day attack refers to when cybercriminals use a hole in software to launch an attack without software developers even knowing about the flaw. The attack continues until developers learn about the flaw and launch a patch to fix it.

In the top five zero-day attacks last year, hackers took advantage of software flaws for a combined 295 days before developers fixed the problem, according to the Symantec report.

The creation of malware also went up 26 percent last year, according to the report. Nearly 1 million new pieces of malware were created per day.

Mobile threats are also up, according to a poll by CyberEdge, a security consulting company headquartered in Maryland. Almost 60 percent of the 814 information technology professionals who responded to the poll said they saw mobile threats increasing in 2014. The respondents represented 19 industries in seven countries.

Also, 71 percent of the IT professionals polled said their networks were breached in 2014. This number is up from 62 percent in 2013.

Why cybercrimes are going up

Committing a cybercrime is relatively cheap, but the rewards are high, according to the McAfee report. The risk for cybercriminals getting caught is also low.

“The rate of return on cybercrime favors the criminal,” according to the report. “The incentive is to steal more.”

Investing in cybersecurity

To fight the growing number of cyberattacks, investment in cybersecurity has also grown. The National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, for example, are investing $4 million on GenCyber, a program that offers young students interested in cybersecurity careers opportunities to learn first-hand about the latest technology in a university setting.

“It is important to seize the imagination of young people who have an interest in this field, showing them the challenges and opportunities that await them,” said Steve LaFountain, Dean of NSA’s College of Cyber. “GenCyber camps help interested young people – from every corner of the United States and from diverse backgrounds – gain some incredible experience in this ever-changing field.”

GRU has made cybersecurity a major strategic priority because of the subject’s importance for the Augusta area and the nation, said Gretchen Caughman, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at GRU. The U.S. Army Cyber Command is moving its headquarters to Fort Gordon in Augusta.

“There’s a need for cybersecurity everywhere,” Caughman said. “Cyber education has to start early.”

GRU to participate in regional cyber defense competition

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents University is one of eight institutions set to participate in the regional Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) being held April 7-8 at Kennesaw State University.

The Southeast CCDC, as part of the National CCDC, is a competition in which students participate in the operational task of managing and protecting an existing commercial network infrastructure.

Out of the 24 universities that competed last month in the Southeast CCDC’s annual Virtual Preliminary Qualification, GRU ranked among the top eight schools which secured them a spot in the regional meet.

The winning team from regionals will then move on to compete in San Antonio, Texas, at the National CCDC, the largest college-level cyber defense competition in the United States. The competition will be held at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk April 24-26.

“This is the first time GRU has participated in this competition, and to make it to regionals is testament of not only the quality of our curriculum, but the hard work of our students,” said Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU’s Cyber Security Educational Initiatives.

The GRU team members included the following students:

 

Michael Banks, Applied Information Systems and Technologies

Chad Reynolds, Computer Science

Katherine Wright, Computer Science

John Bourassa, Accounting

Jim Pinckney, Applied Information Systems and Technologies

Dazmon Callaham, Computer Science

Jeremy Scott, Computer Science

Joseph Reis, Applied Information Systems and Technologies

 

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Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.  gru.edu

 

 

 

U.S. Congressman Rick Allen tours GRU

U.S. Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) toured Georgia Regents University and spoke with faculty members about GRU’s cyber education program and future plans for university facilities. In addition to the GRU campus, Allen also visited Georgia Regents Medical Center’s Emergency Department and spoke with medical staff about initiatives they are implementing to strengthen emergency care and address challenges in rural health. Read more about the visit. 

Register now for GRU’s Cyber Summit, Oct. 23

Register now for the Cyber Education Summit at Georgia Regents University, Oct. 23. The summit, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will feature a keynote address from Admiral Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, as well as other leaders from the NSA and the Department of Defense.

The event will also include a series of panel discussions designed to inform the development of robust industry, higher education, and government education partnerships as Augusta becomes home of the Army Cyber Command.

The one-day event will include panelists from higher education, the Department of Defense, and industry.

Selected participants include Nicole Dean, Director of Cyber Programs for Raytheon; Jeanette Little, U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC); Former NSA and Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, Booz Allen Hamilton; Lt. Col. Michael Nowatkowski, Army Cyber Institute, U.S. Military Academy; and Dr. Greg White, Director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

To see a full schedule or to register, visit gru.edu/cybersummit.

Cyber Summit, Oct. 23

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will host a Cyber Education Summit at Georgia Regents University Oct. 23. The summit, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will feature a keynote address from Admiral Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, as well as other leaders from the NSA and the Department of Defense.

The event will also include a series of panel discussions designed to inform the development of robust industry, higher education, and government education partnerships as Augusta becomes home of the Army Cyber Command.

“Cyber security is one of the most important issues of our time,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon. “This event will explore ways the public and private sector can partner to ensure the safety of our data, while examining

the role of education in cyber security. I thank Sen. Chambliss and GRU for helping to shine a light on this critical issue, and I hope this summit will spark collaboration among educators and industry to build the cyber security education programs of tomorrow.”

The one-day event will include panelists from higher education, the Department of Defense, and industry. In addition to discussions related to becoming a designated NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense; higher education cyber partnerships with industry; and novel cyber threats to Department of Defense medical platforms, the following sessions will be offered:

Adapting University Programs to Today’s Hacker. China, Iran and Russia host untold numbers of hackers.  Does the U.S. have a network to counter them? This panel will discuss the programs that industry and federal agencies have designed to attract young people into cyber careers and fight the shortage of internet security experts in the government.

Grooming Youth for Careers in Military Cyber Security. Competition for qualified cyber experts is intense and demand is only expected to grow. This panel will discuss innovative industry programs designed to engage youth and attract young people into careers in cyber security.

How Industry Supports the Department of Defense and Homeland Cyber Mission. This panel will feature industry representatives discussing current and emerging cyber security threats and need for next generation of cyber experts. What are new and unique threats that industry and government face today and must prepare for tomorrow? What capabilities and skills will the U.S. and international partners look for in the decade ahead? How are the U.S. and other countries preparing to meet new threats?

Selected participants include Nicole Dean, Director of Cyber Programs for Raytheon; Jeanette Little, U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC); Former NSA and Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, Booz Allen Hamilton; Lt. Col. Michael Nowatkowski, Army Cyber Institute, U.S. Military Academy; and Dr. Greg White, Director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

To see a full schedule or to register, visit www.gru.edu/cybersummit.

Demo of How a Spear-phishing Campaign Works

Hear noted cyber author, instructor, and practitioner Bryce Galbraith describe how organizations are spending unprecedented amounts of money in an attempt to defend their assets on Tuesday, Oct.  7, at 7 p.m. in University Hall room 170 on the Summerville Campus. These companies are often one click away from losing national secrets, intellectual property, and PII.

This presentation is sponsored by Hull College of Business in conjunction with the Greater Augusta ISSA (Information Systems Security Association). This event is free and open to the public.

GRU committed to cybersecurity, online safety

Georgia Regents University has joined leaders in industry, education, not-for-profit, and government to become a National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 Champion and help promote online safety awareness.

Recognized in October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure resources are available to help promote online safety and security.The awareness effort, now in its 11th year, is coordinated and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing issues facing our nation today, and as a Champion, we are committed to public education and discussion on how to create safer, more secure online communities,” said Shawn Vincent, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Affiliations at GRU.

As part of its commitment, GRU will host a Cyber-Education Summit from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons on the Health Sciences Campus. Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency, and Chief of Central Security, will provide the keynote address.

For more information, or to register for this event, visit gru.edu/gov/cybersummit.php.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Now in its 11th year, NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security in order to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since President Obama’s proclamation establishing NCSAM in 2004, NCSAM has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state, and local governments, and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer, more resilient, and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit staysafeonline.org/ncsam or dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.