Cybersecurity month raises awareness

cyber month logo

As the federal Department of Homeland Security raises awareness in October about online threats, the University of Washington Bothell has a range of activities arising from its expertise in cybersecurity, particularly workforce development and policy.

A number of the events or programs are organized through the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (CIAC), which is based at UW Bothell and includes all three UW campuses. Through the center, which is led by Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, the UW has been designated by the National Security Agency as a center for academic excellence in research and in cyber defense education, the only college with both designations in the Northwest.

Homeland Security logDemand is high for trained cybersecurity professionals.

“We’re seeing an explosion of job orders, and this includes public, private, and government sector and the military. They need people from all different backgrounds, because it’s not all about the technology,” Endicott-Popovsky said.

The people most in demand are those who have had work experience or internships.

“It’s one thing to have a university degree; it’s another to have a university degree and enough experience to understand cybersecurity and what’s involved on a daily basis,” Endicott-Popovsky said.

The UW Bothell campus offers a Bachelor of Science in computer science and software engineering with an information assurance & cybersecurity option. It also offers a Master of Science in cybersecurity engineering.

NSA logoIn other cybersecurity news:

  • The National Security Agency (NSA) has awarded UW Bothell three grants totaling more than $738,000. They are $195,000 to Endicott-Popovsky and Mary Bold, the UW Bothell associate chief information officer and chief e-learning strategist, to increase the cybersecurity teaching workforce; $299,000 to computing and software systems Professor Mike Stiber to create an online graduate certificate in software development; and $244,000 to Endicott-Popovsky and Morgan Zantua, CIAC director of workforce development, to include cybersecurity pathways in the career preference tool used by the military.
  • The UW has received funding from the NSA this year for three scholarships in the Information Assurance Scholarship Program. The NSA pays $22,000 a year to selected undergraduate students or $30,000 a year to selected graduate students who, in return, commit to working at least a year in government or military service. The three scholars this year are a master’s in cybersecurity student at UW Bothell selected to work at the National Security Agency, an undergraduate at UW Tacoma’s Institute of Technology selected by the Navy and an undergraduate in the UW Department of Urban Design and Planning in Seattle who also was selected by the Navy.
  • At the 2017 Cyber Summit in Alabama, UW Bothell was designated as one of six NSA Cybersecurity Regional Resource Centers. In recognition of successful government-industry-academic partnerships and programs, UW Bothell, Chancellor Wolf Yeigh will host the 2018 Cyber Summit Executive Leadership Forum in April 2018.
  • T-Mobile has selected 12 students at UW Bothell for the second year of a cybersecurity internship program with the Bellevue-based wireless communications company. Students work with managers and directors in privacy, government compliance, incident response and security engineering. Eight of the 10 students in the first year of the program were hired by T-Mobile.
  • With money donated by T-Mobile, CIAC awarded $41,000 to computer science Assistant Professor Geethapriya Thamilarasu to apply machine learning to the security of the internet of things and $6,000 to business Assistant Professor Camelia Bejan for studies in the economics of information security. In addition, CIAC awarded UW Tacoma lecturer D.C. Grant $40,000 to study of denial of service attacks.

T-Mobile logo“We’re really excited about the collaboration with T-Mobile and the opportunities for student engagement with the program and also the opportunities for faculty research in this area, because I think there’s a lot of need,” said Elaine Scott, dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

In addition to its ongoing academic programs, UW Bothell is also hosting or participating in a number of events during Cybersecurity Awareness Month:

  • Oct. 5, George Washington University Professor Diana L. Burley, executive director of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P), speaks to UW Bothell faculty.
  • Oct. 11, Army cyber recruiting officer Chris Pugh speaks to students about a direct commissioning program.
  • Oct. 13, UW Bothell students have access to the Virtual Career Fair hosted by the National Centers for Academic Excellence.
  • Oct. 17, the campus is hosting the Tech & Engineering Career Fair for students from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the North Creek Events Center.
  • Oct. 18, UW Bothell hosts cybersecurity industry forum to engage partners in cooperative learning models.
  • Oct. 18, UW Bothell's Research Fair connects students with professors conducting research in computing, software and cybersecurity; the event runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in UW1-103.
  • Oct. 25, UW Bothell Gray Hats club, with CIAC support, holds event to introduce other students to cybersecurity; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the North Creek Events Center.