Maryland's cybersecurity portfolio

The Washington Post had a recent story on how Maryland is positioning itself to take advantage of increased interest in cybersecurity, Maryland sees its moment in cybersecurity. The article discusses the cybersecurity incubator in UMBC’s research Park.

“The state has had no trouble attracting well-known contractors — many of whom are based in Northern Virginia. McLean-based Science Applications International Corp., for instance, has touted the cyber center it built near Fort Meade, while Northrop Grumman — soon to be based in Falls Church — has established a cybersecurity incubator program with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, whose campus is 10 miles from Fort Meade.

Ellen Hemmerly is trying to bring the pieces together as executive director of bwtech@UMBC, a research and technology park on UMBC’s campus that is home to incubator and entrepreneurial training programs.

The incubator started in 1989 with a focus on life sciences but saw an increased emphasis on dot-com companies in the early 2000s. Now, cyber companies are springing up; the campus is home to more than 20.

Five Directions, a cybersecurity start-up founded by William Arbaugh, is one of them. Arbaugh, who spent time at the Pentagon and the National Security Agency, sold his first company to Microsoft in 2008. Now using bwtech’s provided office space to host Five Directions, he said Maryland is increasingly developing an environment that supports start-ups.”

Maryland Cyber Challenge Team Registration and Orientation Session

Registration for the Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference (MDC3) is now open. MDC3 will provide an opportunity for students and professionals to network in a fun environment while participating in exciting games and learning about computer safety and cybersecurity skills.

MDC3 teams up to six players who will compete in one of three categories: high school, college and university, and industry professionals. High school teams will focus on cyber defense techniques whereas college, university and professional teams will compete in a capture the flag match.

Students must be enrolled at a Maryland high school, college, or university. Professionals’ employers must have an office in Maryland and must be either a company or government agency. Teams can register during a day of an orientation session or online if they are unable to attend in person. The next orientation session will held between 4:30pm and 7:00pm on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 at the UMBC Technology Center, 1450 South Rolling Road. People interested in the professional league should come between 4:30-5:30pm and students should come between 6:00pm and 7:00pm.

The sessions will give contestants and coaches insight about the event as well as tips and tricks to prepare for the competition. After registering and orientation, competitors will be able to attend practice challenges during the summer to prepare for the qualifying rounds in September and finals on October 21-22 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Scholarships and prizes will be available for winning participants.

Cybersecurity Webinar, 1pm Thur June 9

Dr. Rick Forno will discuss UMBC’s Cybersecurity programs and give updated details about the upcoming Maryland Cyber Challenge at a UMBC Cybersecurity Webinar at 1:00pm on Thursday June 9.

The webinar will describe the UMBC Cybersecurity programs, covering:

  • Master of Professional Studies and graduate certificate program details
  • Innovative curriculum highlights
  • Convenient and flexible class schedules
  • Opportunities for career development and professional advancement

Dr. Forno will also discuss the Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference:

  • Participate in a competition to find Maryland’s best minds in Cybersecurity
  • Details will be given about the October 2011 Baltimore Conference
  • How to get involved as a sponsor or partner and promote cybersecurity in Maryland!

The webinar is free but requires registration.

Maryland Cyber Conference and Challenge (MDC3)

The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference site is up and student teams can now register for the competition, with the first qualifying round early in September. It is a chance to demonstrate your ability to work in a team and your cybersecurity and problem solving skills.

MDC3 is a joint effort between SAIC, UMBC, DBED, TCM and NCSA to bring people together to promote Maryland's commitment to cybersecurity and STEM education. The competition includes three levels: high school, collegiate and professionals from industry/government, providing opportunities to network with cybersecurity professionals, researchers, and scholars.

There will be orientation sessions at the UMBC Technology Center (1450 South Rolling Rd., 21224) on May 2, May 18 and June 21 at 4:30pm for professionals and 6:00pm for students.

talk: Cybersecurity Threat is Real (new time: 10am)

The Threat is Real

Sherri Ramsay
Director, NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center

10:00am Friday 22 April 2011, 229 ITE

Sherri Ramsay, the Director of the National Security Agency's National Threat Operations Center, will present an overview of contemporary issues in cybersecurity entitled "The Threat is Real". The NSA Threat Operations Center monitors the operations of the global network to identify network-based threats and protect U.S. and allied networks.

Sherri Ramsay serves as the Director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, an organization operating under Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance authorities simultaneously to establish real-time global network awareness and threat characterization. Ms. Ramsay most recently served in the Information Assurance Directorate as Deputy Chief of the Vulnerability Analysis and Operations Group. She began her career at NSA as a computer programmer and served as a Software Acquisition Manager, System Acquisition Manager, and Program Manager for several large-scale programs. She spend a year of extensive leadership training, research and developmental assignments while participating in OPM’s Executive Potential Program.

Ms. Ramsay graduated Magna Cum Laude with General Honors from the University of Georgia in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Mathematics and Education. She graduated with Honors from the Johns Hopkins University in 1984 with a Masters Degree in Computer Science. In 1992, she graduated from OPM’s Executive Potential Program. She graduated in 1998 form the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, with a Mater’s Degree in National Resource Strategy. Prior to joining NSA, Ms. Ramsay taught high school mathematics. She received the NSA Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1998 and 2000, the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation in 1998, the Louis Tordella Award in 2003, and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award in 2009.

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Cyber Defense Team meeting, Noon 4/4 ITE 325b

cyberdawgs

The UMBC Cyber Defense Team, aka the Cyberdawgs, will host a technical briefing on Monday April 4 featuring two guest speakers from the DoD. The topic will be the cyber competitions between the service academies, and other cyber-related topics may come up as well. The meeting will be held in the CSEE conference room, ITE 325b, from Noon to 2:00pm.

The Cyber Defense Team is a SGA recognized student organization whose members share a common interest in computer and network security and participating in cybersecurity competitions and events. It is open to everyone regardless of your major or current knowledge level. If you are interested in joining come to this meeting or any of the weekly meetings held on Monday's from Noon to 2:00pm. You can also subscribe to its mailing list by sending a message to

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) Tutorial, 4pm Fri 4/1 UMBC

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a Linux feature that provides a mechanism for supporting access control security policies that help secure a computer running it against many kinds of attacks.

UMBC Linux Users Group

SELinux Talk and Tutorial

David Quigley
Advanced Engineering & Development, Keyw Corporation

4:00pm Friday, 1 April 2011
Room 229 ITE, UMBC

Over a decade ago researchers at the National Information Assurance Research Lab at the NSA identified a need for flexible mandatory access controls to help provide a solid foundation for secure systems. This resulted in the development of the FLASK architecture, which has seen implementation in a number of operating systems. The most prominent implementation of FLASK is in the form of SELinux. Since the early days of SELinux adoption much work as been done to improve the utility and usability of SELinux. These enhancement have turned SELinux from a prototype research implementation into a robust access control mechanism that is used by a variety of customers world wide.

This talk is a from the ground up journey through SELinux. It starts with why do we need this technology and then moves through where to obtain it, how it works, and how to identify and solve problems associated with SELinux. In addition to these basics the talk also covers slightly more advanced topics such as hot to construct policy for new applications and hot to address customizations particular to your deployments.

David Quigley started his career as a Computer Systems Researcher for the National Information Assurance Research Lab at the NSA where he worked as a member of the SELinux team but has since left that position. David leads the design and implementation efforts to provide Labeled-NFS support for SELinux. David has previously contributed to the open source community through maintaining the Unionfs 1.0 code base and through code contributions to various other projects. David has presented at conferences such as the Ottawa Linux Symposium, the StorageSS workshop, LinuxCon and several local Linux User Group meetings where presentation topics have included storage, file systems, and security. David currently works as a Computer Science Professional for the Advanced Engineering and Development division at Keyw Corporation.

This talk is sponsored by the UMBC Linux Users' Group.

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Cybersecurity graduate program information session

UMBC Cybersecurity graduate MPS program

The UMBC cybersecurity graduate MPS program will host an informal information session from Noon to 1:00pm on Wednesday, April 6 in ITE Lecture Hall 7. Attend to hear the benefits and practical applications of the program and meet staff members who will be available to answer questions.

The program allows students to:

  • Learn from both research faculty and industry practitioners
  • Acquire the latest knowledge and skills and get the preparation you need to make meaningful contributions to the fieldDevelop a network of fellow students and faculty that will benefit you throughout your career
  • Choose either a post graduate certificate or master's degree

UMBC is designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE) as well as a Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

The program is now accepting applications for Fall 2011. See the Cybersecurity program Web site more information.

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