Chair’s Message | Extending Our Reach

April 9, 2021

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community,

As we hit the final stretch of spring semester, the school community – faculty, students, operations staff, administration, and external supporters – continue to engage and lay the groundwork for the coming fall. We are constantly looking forward, but we also have some high-visibility activity taking place now that’s worth taking note of:

The Technology Association of Georgia announced last week its picks for 2021’s Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. On the list is Codoxo, which almost five years ago to the day was the winner of the IISP Inaugural Demo Day Finale at Georgia Tech (April 13, 2016). The original GT news story includes a great testimonial about how a course in information security inspired two-time alum Musheer Ahmed to pursue his future career path. Now his company is using AI forensics to help mitigate the loss of billions of dollars in U.S. healthcare due to fraud, waste, and abuse.

Speaking of healthcare, a hack of Health Net records (and several universities) in January and just disclosed in March, has fueled the discussion over adoption of a national privacy law. I talked with a L.A. Times business columnist about the topic, and if you want an excellent overview of current global privacy issues, view a recording of Peter Swire’s Q&A with students at one of my virtual open office hours earlier this semester.

Data privacy is also getting attention in the spring issue of the Georgia Tech alumni magazine, hot off the presses and centered on ethics in tech. SCP faculty members Peter Swire and Annie Antón are featured and, without spoiling the short read for you, I will say that they frame the discussion in a very interesting way.

Last week’s virtual celebration for the NSA Codebreaker Challenge turned into an almost exclusively Georgia affair. The top three schools were invited to talk with National Security Agency officials and give input on future challenges. UNG and Georgia Tech (#1 and #2 in the 2020 challenge) were followed by #3 Oregon State which, as it turns out, has GT alum Yeongjin Jang organizing the university’s efforts. If you’re keeping count, Georgia Tech is one of 11 NSA Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity in the state, and Georgia sits in the top 10 nationally for number of CAE-designated institutions.

The codebreaker challenge is an example of students having an opportunity to work on complex and realistic problems in cybersecurity. As part of the efforts of the Georgia Cybersecurity and Privacy Roadmap Taskforce (GCRT) that I chair, the group is looking at such opportunities that support increasing the potential talent pool for the cyber workforce.

The next workshop for the GCRT will be industry-focused and include an overview of Georgia’s cyber workforce, existing gaps, and industry needs. You can sign up to get more information when the April workshop details are announced.

As you prepare to finish your last assignments and instructional days for the spring, take a minute to make sure you’re on our mailing lists or connected on social media. Summer may traditionally have less activity for students, but our school will maintain a steady pace as we prepare to share more good news and developments ahead of fall semester.

Two events of note from the school take place today and Tuesday, and you can stop by the chair’s virtual open office hour at 1 pm ET and ask me (almost) anything.

Thanks for reading.


Richard DeMillo 
Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computing 
Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy  

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Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde