National Science Foundation awards $2.5 million grant to the Seidenberg School

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The Seidenberg School is to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling two and a half million dollars. The grant is in support of the project “A Multiple Pathway Approach to CyberCorps – Renewal,” which is directed by Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Dr. Joseph Ryan (the Dyson School), Dr. Darren Hayes, and Prof. Andreea Cotoranu.

This project extends the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at Pace University. The Pace CyberCorps program received about $1 million from the NSF between 2010 and 2015, and the new NSF award will bring an additional $2.5 million to advance Pace’s program over the next five years between 2015 and 2020.

The Seidenberg School has been awarded the grant in order to support 3-4 cybersecurity scholars every year, assist student research in cybersecurity, and direct several outreach programs – including running the GenCyber cybersecurity teachers’ workshop which concluded recently. The grant will support eligible cybersecurity scholars who are current Pace students, transfer students from community colleges, and new graduate students from other universities. All scholars are required to fulfill core curriculum requirements in both cybersecurity and mathematics, as well as interdisciplinary curriculum requirements in either criminal justice, business administration, or another discipline. The scholars will also be expected to complete research projects and professional development activities. The interdisciplinary academic preparation will allow the graduates to conduct cybersecurity tasks in a specialty area such as information assurance compliance and auditing, network security administration, digital forensics, etc.

Cybersecurity is one of our key initiatives, and we want to encourage students to learn about this field as it’s not only crucial for securing our digital information over the Internet, but it’s an ever-growing area where employment opportunities abound. The National Science Foundation grant will allow Seidenberg and Pace University to continue its efforts as a center for cybersecurity research and education.

We’d like to congratulate Dr. Chen, Dr. Ryan, Dr. Hayes, and Prof. Cotoranu on this fantastic achievement!

Dr. Houle’s UNV 101 class takes on cybersecurity

It’s never too early – or too late – to educate people about safe online behavior, and our Seidenberg students know this!
(L-R) Amanda Perez, Brian Bounos, Joel Thomas and Jalyn Robinson, present their ideas.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Seidenberg School has joined with the Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the country to highlight the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.

As part of this effort, Seidenberg first-year students in Dr. Bernice Houle’s UNV 101 class took the lead to share responsibility for online security by promoting cybersecurity awareness.

The students worked in groups to create a poster and two videos that highlight three distinct cybersecurity-related issues.

 
To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Campaign. The Stop.Think.Connect. online toolkit is filled with tips, facts, and shareable resources for several audiences, www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit.

Dr. Hayes on Heartbleed

As you may have heard by now, there’s a huge Web vulnerability called Heartbleed out there that can allow an attacker access to the memory of a server or client, including a server’s SSL private keys. What does this mean for those of us that depend on privacy and security in our everyday online interactions? We decided that there would be no one better to ask than Dr. Darren Hayes, Seidenberg’s expert in cyber security. He stated that,

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“Heartbleed could be the biggest Web vulnerability ever discovered. The problem is that the vulnerability has been around for two years now, so we have no idea what information could have been stolen from big name companies. Furthermore, the message for customers is problematic because a user cannot rush to change his or her password until the Website has patched their system and purged old keys used to encrypt data. Our confidence in transacting business on banking and retail sites and checking our email with well-known service providers has essentially been shattered. Hopefully, companies will keep their customers updated on what is happening and inform their customers on best practices for security.”

It’s important for users to change their passwords on sites that have been approved. There are lists, such as this one on CNET, that state which sites are safe and which could still be vulnerable. Take the weekend to sort through your accounts to make sure your information is secure.

Seidenberg Professor James Gabberty Writes about Congress and Cybersecurity for ‘The Hill’

“In reality there is no one ‘best way’ to defend against cyber attacks because the path towards safe computing practices that could thwart attacks has been lengthy, evolving and unclear.” Read more

How should congress approach cybersecurity? And how do agencies like the FTC choose which corporations to attack when cybersecurity falters, especially when there are so few solid legal codes in place? Another of Prof. James Gabberty’s articles on the topic has been published on “The Hill’s” Congress blog; this article specifically discusses the FTC’s lawsuit against Wyndham and the resulting call to policy scrutiny. Gabberty continually publishes articles for “The Hill” and is an active part of the conversation that surrounds congress’ role in cybersecurity. His article from February, available here, also considers politics and information security.

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