CT officials: Cybersecurity a threat, but also a source of jobs

Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the UConn School of Engineering, discussed combating cyberattacks during a forum Monday with Gov. Ned Lamont. 

HARTFORD — The age of increasing cyberattacks threatens businesses, state infrastructure, government and Connecticut's utilities.

But the current vulnerabilities have also created opportunities to share information and train people to fill an estimated 600,000 future cyber-security jobs across the country, state experts said Monday during a forum at the University of Connecticut School of Business.

"If I was a bad actor, I would think I'd go after the low-hanging fruit" presented by smaller towns in the state, said Gov. Ned Lamont. "I would assume that they would be a little less sophisticated when it comes to cyber protections. I would worry that that's a back door into the Department of Revenue Services or your financial entity, or your utility. I assume this is a really good way to check on those doors that are left ajar and to make sure they're locked. That makes an awful lot of sense to me. Get on-board with these skills. You're going to have to learn these skills. It's an incredibly important skill set to have. There's a guaranteed job."

Read more at The Register Citizen

Cyberattack Continues to Impact ECHN and Waterbury Health: NBC CT News interviews UConn Professor Laurent Michel

Students walking out of the Information Technologies Building during the fall. Oct. 18, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)A systemwide IT outage caused by a cyberattack continues to affect Eastern Connecticut Health Network and Waterbury HEALTH.

Both health networks are owned by Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical, which is experiencing a system-wide outage because of the cyberattack.

ECHN said its hospitals and affiliated providers are continuing to treat patients and its emergency departments are open.

Click view video to watch UConn Professor Laurent Michel's interview with NBC CT News.

View Video @ NBC Connecticut

First CyberSEED Event Combines Cybersecurity Competition and Discussion

First CyberSEED Event Combines Cybersecurity Competition and Discussion

More than 350 people attended the first-ever CyberSEED Cybersecurity, Education & Diversity Challenge, an event that combined expert speakers and three cybersecurity competitions.

The two-day conference took place Oct. 20 and 21 and was organized by the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation (CSI), a partnership between Comcast and the UConn School of Engineering’s Center for Hardware Assurance, Security, and Engineering (CHASE).

“I think we exceeded the expectations in many ways,” said Mark Tehranipoor, Director, Comcast Center of Excellence (CSI). “Because this was the first CyberSEED event for us, we thought ‘Well, we’ll use it as an experience and learn from this.’ But within a couple months, it became clear that we didn’t have time for ‘learning from this.’ We just have to take it to the next level right away.”

The ambitious event brought more than 40 teams from universities across the U.S. to the UConn campus to compete in three unique cybersecurity challenges for more than $100,000 in prizes. The competition played out over the two days in the same venue – the Lewis B. Rome Commons – that hosted some of most respected experts in the field of cybersecurity.

The conference featured more than 20 speakers, including keynote addresses from Rear Admiral David Simpson (ret.), Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau; Cheri Caddy, Director for Cybersecurity Policy Integration and Outreach, National Security Staff, The White House; and Donna Dodson, Chief Cyber Security Advisor, NIST.

Speakers and panel discussions addressed a wide range of topics related to cybersecurity – from protecting against international-level cyberattacks, to how businesses can protect their customers. Tehranipoor said he was particularly impressed with the panel discussions that featured all three of the major players in cybersecurity.

“When you bring academia, government and industry into one room and let them talk, I think it’s extremely beneficial,” he said. “The three sides have to hear each other.”

Each is coming at the issue with a slightly different approach, he said, especially in regard to confidentiality. Talking with each other helps resolve those differences.

“At events likes these, they come together and talk about what they want, and I think there’s always ways to come up with common ground,” he said. “I think meeetings like this could have a major impact in the way we address cybersecurity issues.”

The conference also featured a VIP tour of the CSI lab, which opened earlier this year. Tehranipoor and John Chandy, Associate Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, led guests through the lab and showcased the technology that’s coming out of it.

Sponsors for CyberSEED included Microsoft, Dell, HP, Symantec, CA Technologies, Juniper Networks, Accenture, Veracode, Wipro, PWC and Cyveillance.

CyberSEED in the Media and Social Media

Print, television and online news media came to UConn last week to cover the first-ever CyberSEED Cybersecurity, Education & Diversity Challenge, an event that brought together talks from cybersecurity experts and three cybersecurity competitions.

The Hartford Courant focused on the labor shortage in cybersecurity:

“We just have not been training enough people to man the defenses of every business at work, every government at work, every military mission,” said Cheri Caddy, director of cybersecurity policy integration and outreach at the White House. “We need to do more.”

Go here to read the rest of reporter Ken Gosselin’s article.

To see photos from the two-day event, go to UConn Engineering’s Flickr account: