September 4, 2017

NSF Cybersecurity Summit

Nikita Golubets

Being a student, I’ve found that there is a great importance in attending Cybersecurity events; whether it be conferences, Meetups, or connecting with colleagues at a coffee shop, staying up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities increases awareness in the field. This week I had a chance to attend a conference in Arlington, Virginia, sponsored by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Science Foundation, this conference offers students as well as employees a chance to attend training sessions and attend presentations from leading experts in the field.

One of the training sessions that I have had the pleasure to attend is a ‘Federated Identity Management’ session which talked about setting up various identity management services. The conference provided us a free lunch as well as breaks in between the talks to get a chance to speak with the presenters. During the lunch, we had a chance to speak to our mentors on IT Security topics during our table topic discussion. In this case mine was on developing successful Cybersecurity policies.

Apart from the talks there were also panels such as ‘Strategies to Develop a Diverse and Inclusive Cybersecurity Pipeline.’ Which included the speakers Aurelia Williams (Norfolk State University), Victor Piotrowski (NSF), Rodney Petersen (NIST), Ambareen Siraj (Tennessee Tech University/WiCyS). That described strategies on creating a diverse Cybersecurity work environment with input from the panelists on how to approach these situations. Victor Piotrowski mentioned the NSF funded CyberCorps scholarship that can be received by “fulfilling service in an Federal, state, local, or tribal government organization” as mentioned on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website. On the last day of the summit Marjory Blumenthal, previously an executive director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, was the keynote speaker for the presentation titled “Data, data, everywhere – how shall we live with it?” Which lead to an interesting discussion on dealing with publicly available data and the current state of security in the United States as well as why Big Data matters.

To conclude, I enjoyed attending the NSF Cybersecurity Summit and urge students to attend this conference in the future. It allows for students to speak with industry experts as well as a chance to listen and ask questions on popular Cybersecurity issues.

Contact Information: Nikita Golubets/ NCSA Advisory Board Member with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Assurance & Cyber Defense.