Unveiling the Seidenberg School’s first ever cyberdefense course with the ACCA

Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, supported by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), will train finance professionals in cybersecurity and cyber defense in August this year.

The course – Foundations of Cyber Defense for Accounting – was announced after Pace University’s recent designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). It will take place on Pace’s Lower Manhattan campus and is taught by Dr. James Gabberty, a seasoned Information and Communication Technology practitioner with more than 30 years’ experience in academia and industry.

Pace University worked to build the course’s contents in order to address the increasing cybersecurity crisis that affects every country. A 2016 ACCA report deemed cybercrime too dangerous and powerful to ignore; the Seidenberg School has for many years now trained new cybersecurity professionals to combat the growing threat.

The course will take place on August 4. Interested in attending? Register!

Read the full press release about Pace University’s new cyber defense for accounting course.

Pace University receives Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation at National Cyber Summit

Pace University, through the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, became one of the country’s few Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) with a new designation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

The designation, which was earned following a rigorous examination of our School’s academics and research, replaces our previous title of Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Dean Jonathan Hill and Dr Li-Chiou Chen, chair of the information technology department, traveled to the 9th Annual National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Alabama, to accept the designation. The conference is an annual gathering of industry, government, and academic institutions in the area of cybersecurity education.

Dr Hill and Dr Chen received the designation from Dr Leonard T. Reinsfelder, Commandant of the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency, and Mr Daniel Stein, the Acting Branch Cybersecurity Education and Awareness in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security.

Dr Chen directs the Seidenberg Cybersecurity Education and Research Lab alongside Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation Andreea Cotoranu. The lab aims to address the acute shortage of cybersecurity and information assurance professionals in industry by focusing on education, research, and partnerships with academic, industry, and government.

See the press release on our new designation.

Pace Cyber Team racks up points in the 2017 National Cyber League

By Kaitlyn Bestenheider

Throughout the entire month of April 2017, the Pace University Cyber Team competed in the National Cyber League’s first ever spring season competition. The National Cyber League (NCL) started in May 2011 as a platform to “provide an ongoing virtual training ground for participants to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity knowledge and skills using next-generation high-fidelity simulation environments.”

The Pace Cyber Team definitely validated their knowledge! In this capture-the-flag style offensive and defensive security competition, each participant had to show proficiency and excellence in all nine of the following categories:

  • Cryptography
  • Enumeration and Exploitation
  • Log Analysis
  • Network Traffic Analysis
  • Open Source Intelligence
  • Password Cracking
  • Scanning
  • Web Application Exploitation
  • Wireless Access Exploitation
Pace Cyber Team: progress as they battled in the final hours of the post-season team competition

Most team members placed individually in either the silver or the coveted gold brackets of the competition going up against the best of the best nationwide. Of the over 2000 competitors only the top 15% will compete in the gold bracket, while the following 35% will make it to silver. This season, 1,891 students/players and 269 faculty/ coaches from 291 two- and four-year schools in 43 U.S. states registered to play in the Preseason/Regular Season.

The Pace Cyber Team also went on to compete in the Silver Bracket of the post-season team competition where they ranked 11th overall in their bracket and placed 27th nationally out of 152 teams from over 108 college/universities in 35 states. The team scored 2,635 points and captured 121 of the challenge flags. For comparison purposes, the national average for this competition was only 1,655 points and just 83 flags.

Pace Cyber Team: 2017 NCL Post Season Extravaganza in Goldstein 321

Even more remarkable, the Pace Cyber Team ranked 1st in their bracket and 4th overall in Wireless Access Exploitation. In addition, the team placed 6th in the silver bracket and 14th overall in Network Traffic Analysis, and 8th in their bracket and 16th overall in Cryptography. Moreover, the team ranked among the top 25 teams in the silver bracket for every challenge category.

Team Captain Kaitlyn Bestenheider said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to compete with. We were all strong competitors and had a wide variety of skills. Everyone communicated fantastically, which made it easy for me to share information and delegate tasks to the person whose skills were best suited to the challenge at hand. Our team’s real strength was in its variety of experience and expertise levels. I look forwarded to training and competing again next semester.”

The team competing in the 2017 NCL post-season included:

Kaitlyn Bestenheider (MS/CS ’18), Adriana Aluia (BS/IT ’17), Cesar Castro (BS/IT ’18), Michael Gabriel (BS/IT ’19), Andrew Ku (BS/IS ’20), Norissa Lamaute (MS/CS’17), Benjamin Longobardi (BS/CS’19), and Gabriel Rivera (BS/IT’17).

Congratulations to all for a great performance this season!

The Pace Cyber Team would like to welcome anyone with an interest in cybersecurity to train and compete with us in the 2017 fall season. Contact Andreea Cotoranu, Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation (acotoranu@pace.edu) with questions.

Some of the Pace Cyber Team (January 2017) – back row L to R: Adriana Aluia, Michael Tantalos, Benjamin Longobardi, Andrew Ku, Gabriel Rivera, Mark Rolon, John Guckian; front row: Norissa Lamaute

Want to read more? Check out Kaitlyn Bestenheider’s blog, Kait Tech, for further coverage of the event.

Thanks so much to team captain Kaitlyn for writing this student blog post!

PhD student Sandra Kopecky to present cybersecurity paper at London Computing Conference

PhD student Sandra Kopecky will be presenting her paper “Cyber Security Paradox from a User’s View Point” at Computing Conference in London this summer.

The conference, sponsored by IEEE, will see Sandra presenting her work to an international audience of peers. The publication of the paper will fulfil one of the dissertation requirements and put Sandra one step closer to earning her Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.

“I was ecstatic to receive acceptance notice,” Sandra said. “This is an SAI-IEEE conference, and I’m going to be presenting my paper along with others in a session at this conference. Wow!! I haven’t done that before.”

Given that Sandra was the sole author of the paper, having it accepted for publication and presentation at the conference is a big deal.

“I’ve been on various panels discussing cyber security, women in the engineering/computer field, my view point as a college student – at various levels, and my background. But never to present my work,” Sandra said.

So why did Sandra choose a unique topic like cybersecurity from a user’s point of view?

“There is much written and researched, however the point of view is almost always from a company’s point of view and the user just has to accept it, no questions asked,” Sandra explained. “Cybersecurity affects everyone in every field across the board. I decided to look at this from a different point of view: that of the user. This paper is the beginnings of that broader topic.”

Sounds like a great paper – the idea of ‘user first’ is no stranger to user experience and human-computer interaction, and it’s certainly interesting to hear about one of our students considering the user’s viewpoint when it comes to cybersecurity, too. Enjoy the conference, Sandra, and we can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

Seidenberg rocks the 2017 Women in Cybersecurity conference

A team of Seidenberg students and faculty jetted to Tucson, Arizona, for the fourth Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference, which took place on March 31-April 2, 2017. Seidenberg students applied for and obtained travel scholarships from Cisco, Facebook, as well as the Pace CyberCorps program in order to attend this event.

This year, around 800 cybersecurity including students, academics, and industry professionals attended the conference for technical workshops, career advice sessions, mentoring and networking, inspirational keynote talks, and a career fair. Some of the companies in attendance included Google, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, AT&T, Bank of America, and the U.S. intelligence.

Who was on the Seidenberg School team? Students Norissa Lamaute (MS/CS’17), Siobhan Kiernan (MS/CS’19), Kaitlyn – Kait- Bestenheider (MS/CS’19), Adriana Aluia (BS/IT’17) and Elizabeth – Lizzie- Molloy (BBA/IS’18), as well as faculty Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Dr. Pauline Mosley, and Andreea Cotoranu attended.

The Seidenberg team wasn’t just at the conference to take it in – they were active participants. On the conference’s GenCyber day, which was filled with activities designed for high school students, the team hosted a Cyber Arcade. The arcade is a set of five challenges: cyber jeopardy, raspberry pi puzzle, cryptography with cipher wheel, mini-drones, and password strength. Seventy-five high-school students and teachers from the Tucson, AZ area attended the arcade, designed and run by Drs. Chen and Mosley with assistance from the entire Seidenberg team.

Seidenberg was also represented on the conference main stage! Norissa Lamaute gave a lightning talk on Musical Cryptography. Norissa’s research implements musical theory to create a consonant cipher that allows for the exchange of secret messages. This project also includes the work of Alexa Piccoli (MS/CS’16) and is advised by Dr. Chen and Andreea Cotoranu.

“The Women in Cybersecurity conference is always a greatly inspiring experience,” said Adriana Aluia. “This is the second year I’ve attended and every time I leave with new friends and connections.”

Kait Bestenheider added that “the opportunity to meet with so many successful women in a field where women make up only 11% of the demographic was simply amazing. While sometimes we might be the only woman in the room, there were almost a thousand of those women in the same room . . . This is a network of women ready to inspire and lead other women to their own success.” Kait covered her experience in her blog, Kait Tech.

Lizzie Molloy also found inspiration at the conference. “My WiCyS experience is something very hard to put into words, not because it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was everything I was expecting and more. […] One of my biggest takeaways from this event was the strong bond I createed with my fellow colleagues. [Together] we realized we can do things we always wanted to do and more. This experience has helped me shape my academic and professional future in many ways. There are more experiences and opportunities available that I never thought were even possible.”

Now that the 2017 WiCyS concluded, we have just started preparing for the 2018 event! We look to continue Seidenberg’s legacy of WiCyS engagement by presenting in the poster session, giving talks and hosting workshops at the 2018 WiCyS in Chicago, IL. If you have an interest in cybersecurity or you are currently working on research projects in cybersecurity, we would like to speak to you. Contact Andreea Cotoranu, Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation (acotoranu@pace.edu) with questions.

Alumnus David Kelly speaks at Big Data Innovator Series

November is Big Data month, and we’ve been working hard to demonstrate how important (and cool) big data is in many ways – one of which is the Big Data Innovator Series taking place here at Seidenberg.

The series is a collection of talks and interviews with Seidenberg alumni who work with big data. There are three talks – two in November and one in December – and we strongly encourage our students to attend!

The first event took place on Wednesday November 9th in the Seidenberg Lounge at 163 William St. The speaker was David Kelly (MS Information Systems ’94), and he spoke to an incredible turnout of 120 students! David is the CIO and co-chief operating officer at Pine River Capital Management, so he had a lot of great advice to share with our students interested in going into the financial world.

david-kelly-2

In an interview with Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill, David spoke about his career, things he had learned, and what he looked for when interviewing candidates for a particular job. “I’m going to assume you know how to code,” he said about his expectations of potential employees. “Going to school in lower Manhattan also shows that you’ve got character.”

He added that internships and travel, particularly international travel, were all good signs, and that if a student has “a cool and unique background . . . the interviewer will like finding a connection.”

One of David’s most important pieces of advice to students was showing a willingness to work hard and to learn, even if you are asked to do something that you don’t know or that isn’t included in your job description. “Show willingness to do what you’re asked to do,” he said.

“Be flexible. Do as they ask you to do. Over time you become regarded as a well-rounded person. Don’t have a deterministic view of what your job should be. Don’t be religious with technology – there’s a classic trick question we like to use: do you prefer using Lotus 1-2-3 or Excel? The correct answer is that it doesn’t matter – if you’re religious about one type of technology, it can hinder you.”

David also had some insights into the big data and cybersecurity fields, saying that the job prospects in cybersecurity were going to be just as good in 2019 as they are now.

“I think they are converging,” David said of big data and cybersecurity. “A lot of security solutions are out there . . . but how do you stitch all of these different solutions together? Real time analysis – that’s where big data comes in.”

We really enjoyed having David visit for our Big Data Innovator Series and would like to extend a big thank you to David and to organizer Deth Sao.

Next up is Jason Molfetas, the CIO of Amtrak!