Chair’s Message | Events and Announcements

Oct. 15, 2021

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community,

Next Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of my chair letter. I am looking forward to using next week’s letter to reflect on how we have grown as a school and a community. 

This week I want to talk about some upcoming SCP events as well as announce a new pathway we are planning to add to our M.S. programs. 

Today we are hosting Chris Rouland, CEO of Phosphorus Cybersecurity Inc., who will be giving a lecture titled “A Random Walk Through 1,000,000 Things.” I will let you guess what it’s about. Chris is a serial entrepreneur (Phosphorus is his third company,) and former CTO of Internet Security Systems, the company that Chris Klaus and Tom Noonan founded twenty-five years ago. He is also an old friend of the College of Computing (and a proud alum). We will be providing lunch for everyone who visits us in person and will be streaming the talk online for those who want to attend virtually. You can register for both online and in-person here.

Next, after receiving some student input I will be bringing back my open office hours starting next week. You are welcome to drop in virtually or in-person. I want to make you all aware that I am dedicated to creating a space to listen to your comments, suggestions and sometimes just chat about cybersecurity and the school. I hope you join me on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Chair Suite (Coda room 962A.) 

We are constantly tweaking the methods in which we communicate with all our stakeholders. Over the next few weeks we will start sending out a weekly rundown email listing all events happening in the school. Events held in a hybrid or virtual format will have the corresponding links for registration.

In the preparation meetings for our upcoming student town hall, several of you have asked for a Slack channel as an alternative to our usual email communications, (actually I was reminded that email is, well, 20th Century and not conducive to the kind of community building we are trying for in SCP.) Karl Grindal and Daniel Genkin are in the process of setting up SCP Slack channels. As they grow, we will be able to let you know about events and get feedback in real time. Join the conversation on SCP Slack by using your Georgia Tech email here

Later this month SCP will be hosting and participating in a virtual seminar focused on the discussion of ransomware. Ransomware and Beyond: Demystifying Ransomware and Defending Against Future Attacks, will be held on Monday, Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCP faculty Milton Mueller and Joseph Jaeger, along with Trevor Lewis from Professional Education, will serve as panelists for the seminar. Registration is currently open, and I welcome you to participate in the discussion. 

A final note to kick off what I hope is an extended and energetic discussion. We are planning to launch a new track in the M.S. programs (both in-person and online) that focuses on cybersecurity operations and strategy. We are moving quickly because demand has been building for a more rigorous approach to preparing students for CISO and other executive security roles. We expect the curriculum to be project-based and team taught by current faculty members, current and former CISOs and others with operational expertise. As far as I can tell we are the first research university to take this step, and I expect the operations and security track to grow quickly. 

Stay tuned for further discussion on the new Slack channels. By the way, we are also planning to adapt some of the existing undergraduate threads to include security operations and respond to the growing interest by employers in sponsoring undergraduate interns within their cyber organizations.

That’s all for this week. I hope you all had a chance to catch your breath during the short fall break. We are now heading into the busiest part of the semester, so check in on our new Slack channel, the SCP Twitter account (@GATechCyber) and the announcement section of our website for late breaking news. As always, feel free to drop me a note (clunky email or Slack message) and stay in touch. 


Richard DeMillo, Chair School of Cybersecurity and Privacy