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National University achieves NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education status

This week, Securing Our eCity stakeholder National University became the first school in San Diego, and only the eighth in California, to achieve the coveted National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designation of “National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education“.

National University

The San Diego university’s cyber security program is somewhat unique in that it teaches both theory and the hands-on skills needed to identify and defend against threats. The program uses an innovative Virtual Education Lab (VEL) where professors create scenarios on multiple machine platforms for students to assess and defend in role-playing exercises.

“This national recognition provides tremendous validation for what we are doing at National University,” said Dr. John Cicero, dean of National University’s School of Engineering, Technology and Media in the announcement.

“Nearly every aspect of our lives is susceptible to Cyber Attack and our students are the future Cyber Warriors who will be defending the integrity and security of our national, business and infrastructure data online.”

According to Program Lead, Dr. Ron Gonzales, “MSCSIA students completing this unique and specialized area of professional training are well prepared with both counter defense, and penetration measures associated with computing security”.

We applaud National for its great work and commend all of those who worked so hard to achieve this elite designation.

 

An evening with Scott Charney, VP of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft

And what an evening it was, as the Securing Our eCity Foundation hosted another excellent opportunity for businesses in the San Diego area to hear from, and meet with, a recognized thought leader in cyber security. Last night it was Scott Charney, VP of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft.

scott-charney-soec

Few people in America have their finger on the pulse of cyber security like Mr. Charney does (he had been at a White House briefing the day before coming to San Diego). An impressive speaker who was very generous with his time, Mr. Charney took on a wide range of questions after spending an hour or so sharing his observations on many aspects of cyber security, such as data security and cloud computing.

Clearly, both Mr. Charney and Microsoft see further migration to the cloud as inevitable, prompting questions about cloud security, and a great answer. Mr. Charney said that, when faced with the question “is the cloud secure?” his answer is a different question: “compared to what?” In other words, the cloud looks relatively secure if you are currently doing IT in house, where you’re probably having a hard time keeping up with system and application patching, and can’t really afford 7×24 monitoring, redundancy, backups, diesel generators and armed guards.

The evening was not without its lighter moments. Mr. Charney was introduced by SOeC board member Hon. Mitchtell Dembin, U.S. Magistrate Judge (seated on the left in the photo below). In his remarks, Judge Dembin said “I’ve known Scott and his wife for a long time, in fact I married them.” (As in presided over their wedding.)

soec-lee-dembin

The judge was in turn introduced by Andrew Lee, CEO of one of the evening’s main sponsors, San Diego-based ESET North America, seen on the right in the photo. Other generous sponsors of this SOeC fundraising event were Qualcomm and SDG&E.

As with February’s excellent evening with Howard Schmidt, former Cyber-Security Coordinator of the Obama Administration, the venue was the charming University Club, with it’s wonderful views of the city and bay. Keep an eye on the SOeC News & Events page for further evenings like this (sponsorships are available).

(Photos courtesy of JP Graf Photography)

Congratulations SOeC opportunity drawing winner!

In addition to playing Cyber Feud, visitors to the SOeC booth at last week’s San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering also had the opportunity to learn more about SOeC’s mission and activities.

Those visitors who signed up to learn more were eligible for a drawing for a prize bundle and we are delighted to announce the winner: Gary D. of San Diego, seen here with Liz Fraumann, Executive Director of Securing Our eCity Foundation (on Gary’s left) and Pamela Richardson, Securing Our eCity Administrator (on Gary’s right).

soec-winner

That sharp-looking SOeC backpack in the middle is also a rollerbag and is stuffed with cyber security goodies.

Congratulations Gary!

Crowds play Cyber Feud at San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

On a sunny Saturday in San Diego the crowds turned out in their thousands at PETCO Park to explore science exhibits at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. Securing Our eCity was there, as a sponsor and as an exhibitor, raising cyber security awareness with the very popular Cyber Feud game. Here you can see a session in progress, led by ESET’s Brent Curry, closely watched by a crowd of onlookers.

Brent-at-cyber-feud-500

Some 280 people participated in the game, competing for prizes by answering cyber security questions. Many more observed from the sidelines.

The event was a great opportunity to spread the word about Securing Our eCity and numerous requests for follow-up contact were received. As you can see, there was no shortage of attendees, which bodes well for the future of science and engineering and STEM education in San Diego.

science-fair-500

Securing Our eCity also participated in other events during the week-long San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. On Tuesday, SOeC volunteer Stephen Cobb gave a talk about privacy and social media as part of Science speed Round on the campus of UC San Diego.

And the 2013 San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup winners are…

Coming up in just a moment! Here’s a hint, from the intense final session of the compettion:

westview

For those not yet familiar with the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup, this annual competition, established in 2010, seeks find and encourage the best cyber security talent in California’s high schools. The competition starts with a practice round, which this year took place in late January. There were 33 teams participating!

The practice round was quickly followed by qualification rounds in February, all conducted over the Internet. Then the qualifying teams came together on March 2 in San Diego for live, head-to-head competition. And the winning team was: Westview High School, part of the Poway Unified School District in San Diego California:

cyber-cup-winners

WELL DONE WESTVIEW!

And well done to the runners up! In second place was the team from Pacific Technology School. In third place was last year’s winner, Troy High School, JROTC team.

Winners All!

The winning team not only won the title and a year of hosting the very impressive cup that goes with that title, there was also a check for $2,500 for their school. But wait, there’s more….The winning team will also be treated to a week of Cyber Boot Camp! Hosted in San Diego by the Internet security company ESET, the Cyber Boot Camp is a lively mix of practical, instructor-led cyber security exercises, plus classroom presentations by experts in a wide range of related fields, from law enforcement to computer forensics, malware research, and career advice. The event will take place during summer recess. Here’s a peek at last year’s camp:

cyber-boot-camp-2012

Beyond the prizes, there is a sense in which we all win from this competition. Right now, our country faces a critical shortage of cyber security expertise. One of the main goals of the project is to address that problem. Through the event and the publicity surrounding it we hope to encourage students of all ages, from all schools, to learn more about information assurance and computer security. Hopefully this will lead many more students to consider these fields as possible career paths or courses of study in higher education.

Thanks to All!

This year’s competition would not have been possible without the volunteer work and financial support of many organizations. We will mention some here, but this list is by no means exhaustive. SAIC’s CyberNEXS™ is the competition engine used in National High School and National Collegiate competitions. The Mayor’s Cup is sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), in cooperation with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego (SPAWAR), and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Additional sponsors and supporters include Securing Our eCity Foundation, Bridgepoint Education, National University, Computers 2 San Diego Kids, and The Ranger Group.

What’s the Mayor’s Cyber Cup Competition All About?


(CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO)
This video gives a fantastic overview of the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup Competition, and what it means to the students, teachers, and organizations involved. For more information on how you can get involved, download this document:

The San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup – Open to high school students within the State of California
Or contact barnold@ucsd.edu to register your team now, or .chris@brighmoonsecurity.com to become a mentor.

How FBI & Sony Teamed Up to Track Down "Hacktivists" (Part 1 from SOeC 2012 Event)

The FBI’s Senior Forensic Examiner Tim Hamon provided rare insight into the process of tracking down cybercriminals during the Securing Our eCity (SOeC) Fall 2012 Symposium in San Diego.

Hamon’s presentation showed how the FBI and private companies, such as Sony, work together as a team to help put cybercriminals out of business. In this video, Hamon is introduced by SOeC co-founder Darin Andersen of Norman Data Defense Systems.

For more information on sessions presented at the Securing Our eCity 3rd annual Cyber security Symposium and Awards event, held Oct. 11-12, 2012, at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center in San Diego, please visit www.securingourecity.org.

CLICK TO WATCH NOW

Solving Sony: FBI, Sony Cyber Sleuths to Discuss Investigations at SOeC Event


FBI and Sony representatives will detail the investigation of a local cyber attack that shook the global electronics and entertainment industries., describing and how success is ultimately a factor of victim awareness and participation.

The “FBI Cyber Investigations” session is scheduled to take place at 2:10 am PM on Oct. 11, 2012, during the Securing Our eCity (SOeC) Cyber security Symposium in San Diego. The FBI’s Tim Hamon, and Tom Perrine of Sony, will headline at the session.

SOeC Cyber security Symposium & Awards – 2012

Join San Diego’s Securing Our eCity® Foundation on October 11th and 12th for an exciting journey into the life of cyber investigators. The best intrusion detection systems are your people – security awareness education is your company’s first line of defense. This is an event that you won’t want to miss!

Dates & Times:

Thursday, October 11, 2012
7:30 am – 10:00 pm

Friday, October 12, 2012
7:30 am – 12:00 pm

Location:

SDG&E Energy Innovation Center 4760 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92117
(Click for map)

Registration $45:

Seating is limited; registration is required. Click here to register now!

Breaking Bad: The Malware Episode

“Malicious software steals millions. We may call it malware, but it’s frequently well-written.”

So says Stephen Cobb, anitvirus maker ESET’s resident cyber security evangelist. Cobb will explore these themes in a session called “Breaking Bad: The Malware Episode,” scheduled to take place at 10:30 am PT on Oct. 12, 2012, during the Securing Our eCity (SOeC) Cyber security Symposium in San Diego.

Attendees at the session will learn how anti-malware experts detect, decode, and destroy increasingly sophisticated viruses, worms, Trojans, and botnets.

SOeC Cyber security Symposium & Awards – 2012

Join San Diego’s Securing Our eCity® Foundation on October 11th and 12th for an exciting journey into the life of cyber investigators. The best intrusion detection systems are your people – security awareness education is your company’s first line of defense. This is an event that you won’t want to miss!

Dates & Times:

Thursday, October 11, 2012
7:30 am – 10:00 pm

Friday, October 12, 2012
7:30 am – 12:00 pm

Location:

SDG&E Energy Innovation Center 4760 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92117
(Click for map)

Registration $45:

Seating is limited; registration is required. Click here to register now!