High Prospects

Maneel Manish Modi is Confident His New Cybersecurity Credentials Will Position Him Well in Industry

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Born and brought up in Mumbai, Maneel Manish Modi is on the verge of completing his journey at Georgia Tech and is soon to be the proud recipient of a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity. Describing himself as an avid sports enthusiast outside the classroom, he believes that having studied alongside those focusing on other specialty areas of cybersecurity and being exposed to a diverse mix of perspectives will serve him well as he prepares to take his first full-time job. 

Now 24, Maneel wanted to get school out of the way and resisted the temptation to go straight into the tech industry with his computer engineering bachelor’s credentials. He thinks he’s better prepared now to face a high-growth, fast-paced tech sector, especially that of information security, an area that he believes will challenge him for the foreseeable future.    

Maneel is undeniably energized as he heads out to start his career and leverage all that he has learned. He aims to absorb as much as he can by taking on varied projects and working toward the long-term growth that the field promises. With cybersecurity professionals constantly in demand across industries, Maneel’s prospects to do exactly that look very good indeed. – JP

Maneel Manish Modi

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Program Highlights: The breadth of the program within the Information Security track was probably my favorite part of it. Taking a number of courses across the different subdomains of the vast sphere that is security ensured that we had a sufficient background in all of them while giving us the opportunity to pursue what we were really interested in going forward. 

Another great aspect was the option to take elective courses offered primarily to students pursuing the Policy or Cyber-Physical Systems tracks. I strongly believe that taking the courses covering cybersecurity policies and privacy regulations were key to coming out of Georgia Tech with a well-rounded knowledge of the domain.

Parting Advice: You’ll do just fine! Things can get intense (especially during the Information Security Laboratory course!) but my experience with professors and classmates has been extremely positive – everyone has been really helpful and understanding. I wasn’t sure coming right after my undergraduate degree was the right choice but looking back now, I have no regrets whatsoever. 

What’s Next: The last two years have been unforgettable, and I’d like to thank my family and friends for all their support and encouragement. I’m looking forward to getting out there and gaining some experience in the industry and see where that takes me. I’ve learnt a lot, both inside and outside the classroom, and hope to stay in touch with all the amazing people I’ve met on this journey. Until next time, Georgia Tech.

Stealth Mode

Career Computer Engineer Jada Brock Has a Whole New Respect for Digital Privacy and Cybersecurity

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Georgia Tech’s graduate course in Privacy, Technology, Policy and Law had an unintended consequence for Jada Brock – it scared her into going incognito on the web.

The same semester, she took the Security Operations and Incidents Response course – taught by former GT CISO Jimmy Lummis and where students learn about tools hackers use – and the two classes together put Jada on the path to minimizing her digital footprint. (She insists both were among her favorite courses).

Jada says that the conservative approach to her online presence is also part of her broader responsibility to the public. She works in a government agency that deals with critical infrastructure, and she understands the real-world consequences that cyber threats pose.

“Maybe when I retire, I’ll start putting more pictures online,” she jokes.

Jada has more than 20 years of public service and has constantly moved forward along with the IT field. Her new degree from the Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree program from Georgia Tech shows this continued commitment.

Cybersecurity seemed like a perfect fit for a career computing engineer who had already lived through Y2K and has an awareness of what is at stake in an increasingly networked world. She decided to get into cybersecurity after learning from a coworker about Georgia Tech’s online program.

Her newfound cyber skills prompted her to make a budget request at her agency for new backup servers. It worked.

“Nothing is better than backups,” she says, then laughs.

Jada is one of three women in the OMS Cyber program graduating in spring 2021. The three are the first women to graduate from the two-year-old program and, in doing so, are making Georgia Tech history. Jada is proud of this fact, but it’s not something you’ll see her sharing online anytime soon. We did that for her. – JP

Jada?

IN HER OWN WORDS:

Program Highlights: I felt the level of knowledge from each professor was honestly top-notch.  Every instructor is at the top of their field and this shows as you begin your coursework. Class offerings are balanced and relevant to what’s happening now in cybersecurity. I found working on projects and weekly assignments rewarding and the online platform made communication with fellow classmates and instructor’s no different than sitting in a classroom on campus.

Parting Advice: If you are considering this program at Georgia Tech, do not hesitate – enroll.  You will be amazed at the quality of the program and pace. Plus, you can never go wrong having the Georgia Institute of Technology on your résumé for your education. 

Women join this program and take the world by storm. Do not feel intimidated.  As one of the few females in this program, I never experienced discrimination and was always treated equally in the classroom by everyone. If you enroll, you will be glad that you took this step to educate yourself at this prestigious institution. 

What’s Next: I am a career government employee in the technology field. I plan on using my knowledge to protect my workplace and colleagues against cyber-related threats. Most likely I will begin studying for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. The coursework for the OMS in Cybersecurity program at Georgia Tech has prepared me well for this certification and will exponentially enrich my contributions in the workplace.

Twice a Yellow Jacket

After 20 Years of Professional Experience, Paul Konikowski Finishes Round Two at Georgia Tech

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There’s a common refrain among students who make it through Georgia Tech’s classrooms and come out the other side with a degree: I Got Out. It’s a badge of honor and a shared bond among those who endure the institute’s rigorous academic demands. More than a few of those men and women choose to come back and further their education, knowing full well what awaits them. Paul Konikowski, Manager of AV Contracting at HB Communications, is one such alum. His BS in computer engineering will now share wall space with a master of science in cybersecurity, which Paul earned this spring. The master’s came 20 years after the baccalaureate.

Now 44, Paul has had the distinction of going through the Georgia Tech gauntlet both in-person and online. He is among the first graduates in the Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity, which turned two this year. Paul was part of the first 250 students who were accepted into the online master’s program. – JP

Paul Konikowski

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Program highlights: What I really liked about this program was the mix of structure and flexibility. I am the type of person who works best when I have a deadline to meet. The weekly videos, reading assignments, projects, papers, quizzes and exams, all helped to keep me on track towards the degree. At the same time, the asynchronous, online format of the program allowed me to find my own time each week for doing the work, while juggling a full-time job and freelance audiovisual installation projects.

Parting advice: If you are interested in a master’s program or any other higher education, but you think you are “too old” to go back to school, I’m here to tell you, you aren’t too old. I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to comprehend the material but was pleasantly surprised how well my brain worked after so many years away from formal education. And I’m not the only one; a large percentage of my classmates were over 40, 50, or even 60 years old.  Trust me, you are NOT too old, you CAN do this, and your brain WILL work!

What’s next: I hope to leverage my experience in AV (audiovisual) and ICT (information and communications technology) and combine them with the skills and knowledge I gained in the cybersecurity master’s program. There is a growing need for security-minded individuals in the IoT industry, and I hope to be a thought-leader in the space, being the “bridge” between the technical folks and the non-technical people who are responsible for creating and enforcing the security policies within their organizations. In terms of learning, my next step is to research hardware vulnerabilities and tainted firmware attacks, maybe set up a test lab, and try to ethically hack some audiovisual devices. I really enjoy teaching others about cybersecurity, and writing articles for AV/IT/IoT industry magazines.

Road Warrior

Becky Borrebach Hits Her Stride in a Year of Big Personal Changes

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Becky Borrebach has the distinction of being one of the first three women to graduate from the Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree program at Georgia Tech. With her new degree and an upcoming new job (she’s headed to the Pentagon), Becky is enjoying the moment.

Previously stationed in Georgia, the U.S. Army captain remembers the first and only time she visited Tech’s campus. She and her husband Drew, a fellow Army officer, were stationed clear across the state from one another – Drew at Fort Benning in Columbus and Becky at Fort Gordon in Augusta – and had to make long weekend drives to see each other.

Becky jokes that the long Friday rush-hour road trips were like her own personal “Highway 20 Ride,” a somber country song by the Zac Brown Band. The couple eventually decided for a change of scenery and started weekend getaways to Atlanta every other weekend. They would meet in the middle – talking on the phone all the way – and then turn into tourists, visiting all the sites the city had to offer. After Becky got accepted to Georgia Tech, she added a new tourist destination to her list.

That solitary trip was during a summer, when campus is slow, and she got to loiter and hang out for a few hours. She bought everything she thought she’d need at the campus bookstore before heading out to her current duty station in Hawaii. The Georgia Tech ballcap she bought is now primarily sported by Drew, who often wears it to show off how proud he is of Becky.

On Becky’s bucket list is watching a football game at Bobby Dodd. With the Pentagon only a few hours away and her practiced road trip skills, we hope to see her soon. – JP

U.S. Army Capt. Becky Borrebach pictured with her husband and U.S. Army Capt. Drew Borrebach in Hawaii.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

Program highlights: The highlight of the Georgia Tech OMS Cybersecurity program has been the ability to continue my full time job in the military while completing the program. The flexibility of the program has allowed me to travel overseas for work, attend a three-week training exercise in Louisiana with limited connectivity, and complete my coursework from the beautiful state of Hawaii, a six-hour time difference from Georgia Tech. In addition to this, the program is constantly evolving and adding new relevant curriculum. I feel that I have been able to stay on the cutting edge of the cybersecurity field with the courses offered. 

Parting Advice: Don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone! The program offers multiple different tracks and each student is able to take electives outside of their selected track. I selected the Policy track and was hesitant to take the Data Analytics and Security class due to its very technical nature. I took a chance, enrolled myself in the course, and it ended up being one of my favorite courses in the program. Challenge yourself – you will not regret it!

What’s Next: Up next, I will be moving with my family to the National Capitol Region to work at the Pentagon on the U.S. Army’s new human resources system. I am excited to take what I have learned throughout my time at Georgia Tech and continue to apply it to my work!

Making Moves

Overseas Graduate Kristine Diomampo Never Dreamed of a Cybersecurity Career

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Kristine Diomampo is farther from Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus than most of her fellow spring graduates. Her home and job in Hong Kong is more than 8,300 miles away and a 12-hour time difference. But the Philippines native didn’t let that become a barrier to her earning an online Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity (OMS Cyber).

Kristine’s grad school experience has been like a self-feeding loop – go online for class, learn through her projects and peers, integrate that new knowledge at work, then rinse and repeat. Adding to that virtuous cycle was a promotion at her job, where she is now an IT security auditor.

Originally armed with a bachelor’s in accountancy, Kristine’s first job out of college was at an assurance and tax services firm as an IT auditor – it was the only job opening the firm had available. Her subsequent IT and business background in banking and insurance led her to Hong Kong. Now, almost five years later, Kristine has her sights set on becoming a cybersecurity analyst or consultant and then maybe a move to cybersecurity management or architecture.

Her love of learning will continue (she lives and breathes IT when not traveling or writing) with a pile of books and certifications awaiting her after graduation as she continues studying cybersecurity.

Kristine has a claim on a new part of Georgia Tech history in earning her recent degree – she is one of the first three women to complete the OMS Cyber program. All three are spring 2021 graduates. Kristine can take pause to marvel at this accomplishment and look back to where it all started with the happy accident of an accountant getting into IT. – JP

IN HER OWN WORDS

Program highlights: I always thought I had very poor technical cybersecurity skills and I wasn’t confident in what I knew. I’ve never hacked nor coded anything; all I knew about security vulnerabilities were theoretical. But through the course, I was able to work on a variety of projects that allowed me to discover on my own how to crack passwords or how buffer overflows work. The sense of accomplishment in successfully completing projects encouraged me to continue with my courses and the program. I was also able to apply what I learned from the program to my job, further solidifying what I learned in class. The program gave me the structure I needed to expand my learning, and I can use that to boost any further independent learning that I wish to pursue.

Parting Advice: It can be easy to feel isolated and alone as you tackle your projects and assignments. Afterall, the program delivery is online and your classmates are scattered all over the world. This is where you take advantage of communication tools to build connections with other people in the program. Many late night study sessions were made more fun by talking with other people, and there were those that provided much needed guidance and encouraging words (even humor) when my projects wouldn’t work. Just because the program is online doesn’t mean that meaningful friendships can’t be made. So feel free to reach out to your classmates and even find a study buddy or two!

What’s Next: I actually got promoted at work because of the program! Because I was pursuing a masters in cybersecurity, I was given the opportunity to move from being a generalist IT auditor to being an IT security auditor and working on more technical assignments. This was even before I graduated! I plan to hone my cybersecurity technical skills even more (I already have a pile of security books to go through) and to pursue security certifications. I hope to someday move into information security operations in my organization and have hands-on experience on implementing controls in the workplace.

Georgia Tech Advances Statewide Efforts in Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy Through Education Strategy and Industry Workforce Development

Georgia is a leader in the cybersecurity field, home to flourishing industries in multiple regions and a headquarters for companies in priority sectors such as healthcare, fintech, agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, and others. 

Nationally recognized cybersecurity and privacy firms call metro Atlanta home, including OneTrust and Pindrop, both cofounded and led by Georgia Tech alumni. Each recently hit significant milestones – OneTrust, which is focused on privacy compliance, saw a jaw-dropping 48,000% three-year growth rate in 2020 and Pindrop celebrated 10 years this year with a major acquisition that enhanced it as a leader in voice security. Codoxo, using AI forensics to mitigate healthcare fraud and waste, has joined its elder brethren as an alumni-led startup on the Atlanta scene and was recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia as a top 10 innovative tech company in 2021.

Georgia Tech’s newest investment in the fields materialized in the form of the first academic school at the institute in a decade. The School of Cybersecurity and Privacy officially launched in September 2020.

“Georgia Tech has earned a reputation for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in service to society. Georgia Tech’s new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy will focus on applied research collaborations as well as translational research with the fast-growing cybersecurity industry in Georgia, meeting a critical workforce need,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera.

Georgia’s current cybersecurity workforce includes more than 32,000 professionals, but there are 17,000 jobs, or a full one-third, of the total available in the state that are unfilled, according to Cyberseek, a tool for job market analysis supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).

The Georgia Cybersecurity and Privacy Roadmap Taskforce, a newly formed group of education experts and chaired by Georgia Tech’s Richard DeMillo, is working with industry and government officials to address this challenge. They are currently working to understand the needs of Georgia’s education system and provide a guide to fill the workforce gap by recommending a strategy for cyber education programs and training for students and working professionals.

Georgia Tech’s own OMS Cyber program has already provided a model that could potentially be a template for working professionals looking to switch careers to cybersecurity or digital privacy. More than 80% of the students enrolled, or about 800, are employed already.

“Georgia Tech’s approach to online education combines affordable, flexible access with modern pedagogy and world-class instruction,” said DeMillo, who also chairs the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech. “As we have learned from the thousands of students enrolled in our online degrees, this opens new doors to learners around the world, whether they are re-skilling mid-career or jump-starting new careers with one of the most respected graduate degrees in the world.”

To equip the workforce of the future in both cybersecurity and privacy, Georgia Tech is taking a holistic approach to teaching students about the technology, business, policy, and practice of these fields.

Technical skills in specialties such as cloud security, cryptography, cyber-physical systems, forensics, and malware are paired with learning about regulatory requirements, including those in public policy and law.

Students are able to choose from some of the most pressing applications of cybersecurity and privacy in society; election systems, social media, internet infrastructure and web security, cyber warfare, hardware security, network and communications system security, and machine-to-machine trust.

The state taskforce addressing workforce development in cybersecurity and digital privacy is holding a series of public workshops spring and summer 2021. To learn more visit https://gacybereducation.org/.

Media Contact: Joshua Preston, Research Communications Manager, College of Computing

Chair’s Message | What’s Next?

April 16, 2021

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community,

It’s been a bit frenetic; I know. There’s a lot of new stuff to do. Between transferring faculty members to the new school, interviewing new professors, starting a new curriculum, and introducing the school to the world (“Hello, World!”), it’s been amazing how much time I got to spend this semester talking with all of you. 

You would think that, with summer break almost here, we would have more time for that. Rather than winding down the clock to a slower summer, SCP faculty and staff will use the next few months for a quick breather and assess where we are, then prepare to hit the ground running in the fall.

Next on my agenda is getting input from faculty and students on what services they would like to see in the new school. While the intercollege model that the institute has adopted for SCP has brought valuable opportunities, being the first in line for this new type of academic operation means we will also have to invent new ways of doing business. This is a good time for you to weigh in. If you are a student, what services do you wish we had? If you are an online student, what can we do to add value to your OMS-Cyber experience? My faculty colleagues are in the same boat: from budgetary and financial services to grant administration to laboratories to career advising and course scheduling, we will have to find new team members who can support SCP’s mission and operations. I’ll meet with SCP faculty members before the semester ends in two weeks to brainstorm. Everyone else will soon receive an invitation to a SCP community Town Hall, where we will have the same discussion with even broader participation. I hope to see you there.

Here’s a news item that may help kick off the Town Hall conversation: The recently announced reorganization of the institute’s corporate engagement model impacts the school and how we might be able to serve students at career fairs. Every college (and the institute) has its own career fair, so where do we fit in as an intercollege unit? What meaningful leads and relationships for job prospects can we help students with by using the school’s contacts with industry? It’s an exciting and interesting problem.

A note on curriculum topics: The second workshop from the Georgia Cybersecurity and Privacy Roadmap Taskforce will look at “Bridging the Cybersecurity and Privacy Workforce Skills Gap” on April 27, 2:30 – 4 pm EDT. You can find out more details and register to attend virtually by visiting https://gacybereducation.org/. Also, this fall the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering will introduce threads for their undergrad degrees (sidenote: they follow the College of Computing, which introduced threads for its bachelor’s in computer science in 2007 when I was dean). Cybersecurity will be one of the threads in the computer engineering bachelor’s degree. Third-year student Andrew Gonzalez shares an insightful glimpse of his experience taking cybersecurity courses.

The professor will be out this summer as far as my virtual open office hours are concerned. My weekly letters to you will become more irregular until we pick back up again in August. You can quiz me on what I’ve learned these first two semesters as chair of SCP today at 1 pm at my last session this semester, and I will always be an email or a Twitter DM away until we get together again in the fall. I hope it will be in person, but we are planning for any eventuality.

Thanks for reading. Good luck on finals and have a safe summer.

Sincerely,

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

Visit me at www.demillo.com  
Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde   

Function Equivalence with Symbolic Execution

April 16, 2021 | 12 – 1 pm EDT | LINK

Kennon Bittick
Research Scientist – GTRI CIPHER

Cybersecurity and Privacy Virtual Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy and the Institute for Information Security and Privacy


Abstract:

Summarizing and comparing basic blocks or functions across different binaries or between binary and source code has many applications for program verification including verifying compilation, source or binary transformations, identifying patched code, and identifying library functions. This talk will present IRAD research on using static symbolic execution to prove source and binary function equivalence, with a focus on how breaking up functions or basic blocks into smaller, composable units can make the analysis tractable and bypass many common issues with symbolic execution.

Speaker Bio:

Kennon Bittick is a research scientist in the Software Assurance branch of GTRI. He has been a key technical lead and performer on security analyses of enterprise and embedded systems and has expertise in manual reverse engineering and system analysis, application of enterprise-focused static and dynamic analysis techniques to the embedded domain, and hybrid human-computer software analysis. Kennon holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and is the principal investigator on a number of internal and sponsored research programs.

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.

Sincerely,

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

Visit me at www.demillo.com  
Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde   

Chair’s Message | Intercollege Academic Model Taking Form

April 2, 2021

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community,

Who ultimately oversees this new school that runs point for cybersecurity and privacy education activity on behalf of all the academic colleges at Georgia Tech? This is a question that comes up frequently as we build the model for an intercollege academic unit.

SCP has an administrative home in the College of Computing, which means we have only one set of rules and procedures to follow (trust me, Georgia Tech has lots of rules). Dean Charles Isbell is my boss. But I am also accountable to the Council of Deans of the remaining five colleges, library, and professional education. Like equity shareholders of a startup, they have invested in SCP and have a stake in our success.

When I was asked to become the interim chair and help launch SCP, I was careful to inquire about whether that means I report to eight bosses (nine, if you count the Provost, to whom all the deans report). As a former dean, I am well-versed in the university art of tending to investments of scarce academic resources. I knew that they didn’t all want the same things all the time, so I did not relish the idea of trying to please them all.

Charles was convincingly reassuring: “No, you will not have eight bosses,” he said. The shareholder/start-up analogy should have occurred to me right away. It would have helped quiet the annoying, ever-skeptical little voice in my head.

On the other hand, I do take the responsibility of regular reporting to the Council seriously. I do that with letters like this one. In fact, some of the deans read my weekly letters to keep up with what’s happening in SCP. I thought this week it would be fun to turn the tables and give you a preview of what I will be telling the Council in my end-of-the-semester report.

  • The SCP faculty met on Tuesday. It was our third monthly business meeting. I noted at the meeting that the school is on track to begin operations in August to coincide with the 2021-22 school year. This means all essential administrative functions are staffed and academic matters are being governed by committees.
  • We are being deliberate in naming the founding faculty members. There are 23 active requests from other units for positions in SCP (most of them for joint appointments). Here is the breakdown:
    • Computer Science – 7
    • Interactive Computing – 2
    • Computational Science & Engineering – 1
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering – 4
    • Public Policy and Sam Nunn School – 5
    • Scheller College of Business – 2
    • GTRI -2
  • I have appointed Alexandra “Sasha” Boldyreva as the SCP associate chair for graduate education. This reflects the importance of the master’s and PhD programs to the school. Sasha had a similar role in the School of Computer Science, and she is an experienced leader in supporting graduate students.
  • The Institute for Information Security and Privacy (IISP) – Georgia Tech’s research arm in these areas – will become part of SCP by the start of the fiscal year. IISP has been an engine driving the growth of cybersecurity and privacy research and innovation. IISP Executive Director and Professor Wenke Lee will continue in his leadership role.  
  • A timeline for the SCP chair search has been laid out by search chair and Professor Mark Riedl of Interactive Computing. The job announcement will go out shortly and by September the search committee hopes to deliver final recommendations. Finding the right candidate is critical to the school’s future success. I’ve talked previously about developing the school’s culture and the new chair will play a large part in defining that. Based on the faculty discussion, the search committee won’t have any shortage of input, but I encourage you to reach out and engage in the endeavor.
  • The curriculum committee will shortly deliver a recommendation for an undergraduate thread in cybersecurity starting fall semester. The group has identified this as an important need that aligns with the computer science and the electrical and computer engineering undergraduate programs, both of which include threaded curriculums.
  • The Georgia Cybersecurity and Privacy Roadmap Taskforce is bringing together industry stakeholders for our second workshop later this spring to identify workforce gaps in cyber-related jobs and careers. The first workshop surfaced interesting perspectives from the education sector, including discussion from University System of Georgia officials on how we might innovate to serve more students.

Balancing all the needs of a new school has taken the commitment of more people than I can name in this column, but their work is starting to pay dividends. I look forward to continuing the momentum we’ve built and identifying together where we head next.

As always, thanks for reading, and come say “hi” at my weekly virtual open office hour, Fridays at 1 pm ET. You can find out more ways to get involved with the school by visiting us online.

Sincerely,  

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

Visit me at www.demillo.com  
Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde