Victoria Lentz ’15, Cybersecurity, Wins HP Scholarship

Earlier this year HP and the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) selected Victoria Lentz ’15, cybersecurity, and 10 other female cybersecurity students from across the U.S. to receive scholarships.

Lentz was in the first “cohort” of students to be accepted into UMBC’s Cyber Scholars Program, which began in Fall 2013. The program prides itself on influencing minorities and women to become involved in the cyber security and computing industries. With particular interests in malware and digital forensics, Lentz plans to work in the cybersecurity industry after finishing her undergraduate education to gain experience before returning to school for a Master’s degree.

UMBC and Japan’s Kyushu University Establish Partnership

On June 24, UMBC signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyushu University to promote academic and research cooperation between the two universities.The partnership will allow faculty and student exchanges and joint research projects, focusing on cybersecurity initially.

Provost Phillip Rous commented on the partnership, saying, “The academic agreement signed between UMBC and KU articulates our universities’ shared vision and intention to collaborate broadly in both research and education.”

Click here to read a full description of the agreement and here to read an article about the partnership in the Baltimore Business Journal.

Dr. Rick Forno discusses data breaches on WEAA

umbc-faculty-Rick-FornoCSEE’s Dr. Rick Forno, Cybersecurity GPD and Assistant Director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, was a guest on WEAA’s ‘The Marc Steiner Show’ where he joined Dr. Lisa Yeo of Loyola University in discussing cybersecurity issues and best practices in light of recent high-profile data breaches such as those at the University of Maryland, Target, and Indiana University.

Listen to the segment here.

Cybersecurity Virtual Information Session (4/2)

Recently named one of the top five global risks, cybersecurity is a concern for all industries and calls for improved critical infrastructure. Maryland, considered a “hot bed” in cybersecurity, has nearly 20,000 cybersecurity jobs available in more than 1,800 companies and is looking for individuals with knowledge of the human, political, and technical aspects needed as a cybersecurity professional. Join the Cybersecurity program at The Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD, for a virtual information session to learn how Master’s and Graduate Certificate Programs can help prepare you as a qualified cyber professional, ready for management and leadership opportunities within finance, healthcare, government, telecommunications, retail, academia, technology and more.

The Virtual Information Session event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Please RSVP here. Learn more about the program here.

Pres. Hrabowski Emphasizes Importance of Research Investment, Economic Development, Tech Transfer

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch held a press conference today to announce a package of bills relating to economic development initiatives. The proposed legislation would leverage public and private sector resources for higher education research endowments; create a seed fund to invest in cybersecurity and privacy companies; and strengthen ties between key state, federal and higher education institutions and neighboring communities by creating Reduced Tax Zones (called RISE zones).

photoPresident Hrabowski spoke at the press conference (photo at right), emphasizing the importance of investment in endowed professorships and the RISE economic development zones to increase tech transfer. He joined USM Chancellor Brit Kirwan and representatives of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Johns Hopkins University in endorsing the proposed legislation.

UMBC Vice President for Research Karl Steiner and bwtech@UMBC Executive Director Ellen Hemmerly also attended the event.

State and national voices are increasingly articulating the need for expanded training and investment in cybersecurity. This week’s U.S. News includes cybersecurity in a story about hot career fields, noting that UMBC cybersecurity programs offer students essential hands-on experience.

ABC2 News reported on the press conference and Dr. Hrabowski’s remarks. Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was also interviewed about the event in The Baltimore Sun.

Students Selected for Scholarship for Service Program

Five students in UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) have been selected for major scholarships to pursue studies in cybersecurity-related fields under UMBC’s participation in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Scholarship for Service (SFS) Federal CyberCorps program. As SFS Scholars, students receive full tuition, fees, annual reimbursement of professional development expenses ($3,000), a nine-month stipend ($20,000 for undergraduates, $25,000 for MS/MPS students, and $30,000 for PhD students) for up to two years (three years for Ph.D.), and assistance with federal cybersecurity internships and career placement.

The awardees for AY13-14 are:

  • Nathan Price, MS (CMPE)
  • Punlada Muangrat BS (IS)
  • Shannon Mcpherson MPS (CYBR)
  • Alex Cooke BS (IS)
  • Denis Danilin MS (IS)

These new awardees will join existing UMBC SFS Scholars Oliver Kubik (BS, CMSC), Mary Mathews (PhD, CMSC), Brendan Masiar (MPS, CYBR) and Brandyn Schult (MPS, CYBR).

The CyberCorps program produces highly-qualified professionals to meet the United States government’s increasing need to protect American’s cyber infrastructure. While in the program at UMBC, SFS CyberCorps Scholars participate in special SFS program activities, have opportunities to engage in mentored research opportunities both at UMBC and its partners from industry and government, and must complete a paid summer internship for the federal government. Upon graduation, each student must work for the government (for pay) for one year for each year of scholarship received. CSEE Drs. Alan Sherman and Richard Forno direct the program under a five-year $2.5 million NSF grant received in 2012.

Rick Forno, Cybersecurity, on The World

Earlier this week, a security research company released a report providing technical documentation and near-certain proof that China is engaging in cyber-espionage activities against the US.  While that’s not exactly a new discovery, it provided a much deeper degree of public information used in presenting its findings.

On Public Radio International’s program, The World UMBC’s Rick Forno discussed the report’s implications.

Forno says he was on the program to discuss American cybersecurity readiness in light of the heightened media interest in cybersecurity following the report’s release.

The fact that the networks and our critical infrastructure systems are still vulnerable after years of analysis and public warnings about their security posture said Forno, “is still very disturbing.”

“Those systems that we view as critical national infrastructures [such as those controlling power and water distribution] he said, “should be separated from the public internet.” But he adds, “When rubber meets the road [in terms of American cybersecurity] I don’t see a lot of improvements.”

The U.S.,” he said, “has the most vulnerable cybersecurity infrastructure on the planet.”

Listen to the interview