Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Held every October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and the Center for Security Studies are proud to be champions in support of this essential online safety, awareness, and education initiative.

UMGC has partnered with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the federal lead for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The overarching theme for 2020 is "Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart." Now, more than ever, this theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, with a particular emphasis on the key message for 2020: If You Connect It, Protect It. This year's main effort is to encourage all Americans to take proactive steps to enable lasting, positive cybersecurity behavior change at home and at work. Protecting against cyber threats is a critical challenge for organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sectors. It serves as a constant reminder of the need to promote cybersecurity awareness across the nation.

Calendar of Events

Date and Time Title Description

Wednesday, October 7
4:30–6 p.m. ET

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Note: This event is ideal for prospective graduate and undergraduate students

NETLABS+

Teaching the Fundamentals of Connecting and Protecting

Moderator:
John Galliano

Participants:
Jesse Varsalone
Josh Woodward
Nora Blasko

University of Maryland Global Campus offers no-cost access to NETLAB+, a remote-access learning platform designed to provide practical hands-on experience with technology in virtual network environments.

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NETLAB+ gives you no-cost access to cyber labs and dedicated virtual machines that allow you to master the skills that are relevant to cybersecurity workforce needs. UMGC offers NETLABS+ for Maryland K-12 teachers, community colleges, and minority academic institution faculty for professional development and the creation of innovative hands-on cyber range activities. It is also available for Capture-The-Flag activities. Awareness of the "tools of the cybersecurity trade" is essential for technologists AND career changers interested in further developing their skills.

About the Speakers

John Galliano is the program director of cybersecurity technology at University of Maryland Global Campus. He is a multi-certified cybersecurity expert with a passion for teaching and sharing insights gained in the cybersecurity field. Galliano is a member of the Military Cybersecurity Professionals Association (MPA) and has participated in several of the Po'oihe Cyber Range Exercises at the University of Hawai'i. He holds several certifications, including the CASP, C|EH, C|HFI, CEFE, Cisco CyberOps, CySA+, CISSP, Linux+, SANS GIAC GRID and GAWN, and Security+. His expertise lies in insider threat, incident response, forensics, as well as offensive cybersecurity.  John completed his first college credits during Operation DESERT STORM while taking UMGC courses in Saudi Arabia; he later earned his master's degree from UMGC Europe while stationed in Germany. John obtained his doctorate from the University of Fairfax and was named a Stanley J. Drazek award winner in 2020.

Joshua Woodward is the NETLABS+ Lab Administrator at the University of Maryland Global Campus in the Center of Security Studies. His responsibilities include support tasks required by the NETLABS+ project, such as customer support, tutoring, and technical support of the network and virtual machine environment of NETLABS+.  Josh is also a member of the award-winning FCC Cybersecurity Competitions team. Josh is currently a student at Frederick Community College studying Computer Science.

Jesse Varsalone is an associate professor of computer networks and cybersecurity at University of Maryland Global Campus. He has 20 years of experience teaching cybersecurity-related courses, and over 26 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in schools such as UMGC, CCBC, Johns Hopkins, Champlain College, and Stevenson University. Varsalone worked as a Department of Defense contractor for five years at the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy (DCITA), where he taught courses in forensics, intrusions in a windows environment, network exploitation techniques, and live network investigations.  Jesse holds several certifications in the field, including the A+, CISSP, CEH, CYSA+, Linux+, Net+, Pentest+, Security+, and Server+. Varsalone is a member of the red team on the Mid-Atlantic College Cyber Defense Competition. He has a master's degree from the University of South Florida and a bachelor's degree from George Mason University.

Nora Blasko is a computer science teacher at St. Mary's County Public Schools. She earned a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Drexel University. After working for several years as a software analyst, Blasko earned a Master of Education from Lehigh University. She moved to Maryland to become a math teacher and added computer programming classes to her schedule. Over the past ten years, Blasko has been an advocate for change in computer science education in both her school district and the state of Maryland. She worked to add new computer science and cybersecurity classes to the course offerings and increased enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities in those classes. Blasko currently teaches at Great Mills High School and coaches CyberPatriot teams, programming teams, and a Girls Who Code Club. 

Tuesday, October 13
1–2 p.m. ET

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How the US has Shifted to Remote Education and Working, and the Cyber Exposure that has Opened.

Moderator:
Greg von Lehmen

Participants:
Mark Loepker (CCEI)
Helen Nelson (NIST)
 

Join UMGC and CCEI for an in-depth discussion about how remote education and working has increased cyber exposure. Learn about Americans working from home, their social concerns, and attitudes toward security.

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The webinar includes an interactive discussion about the threats and exposures of home devices, including routers and IoT devices. Participants will leave the discussion with practical recommendations for enhancing the security of their home network using the NIST identify, protect, detect, defend, and recover model at a simplified level.    

About the Speakers

Mark S. Loepker is a master practitioner in Information Assurance (IA) and International Partnerships with over 39 years of government experience.  He orchestrates dissimilar groups aimed at fostering consensus to solve the toughest cybersecurity challenges. Loepker serves as the Education Program Director to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, focused on developing educational programs to be delivered from the new Cyber Center for Education & Innovation (CCEI). In this role, he focuses on ensuring that K-12/STEM initiatives are aligned with national cyber curriculum standards, and that the CCEI becomes a national resource in addressing workforce development and operational training requirements targeting 13-20 grade curricula. Loepker holds an MBA from the University of Missouri.

Helen Nelson is an Information Technology Security Officer (ITSO) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing dedicated support to the NIST Office of the Director, Office of the Associate Director for Management Resources (ADMR), Office of the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services (ADIIS), and Office of the Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP). In her role, Nelson coordinates on the technology support requirements as well as the development and acquisition of new systems, applications, and services to support the NIST mission.

Helen has a B.S. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She holds the following IT security professional certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Information Technology Library (ITL).

Greg von Lehmen is special assistant for cybersecurity at UMGC. He serves as liaison to various external bodies concerned with cybersecurity policy and workforce development. He also serves as an advisor to the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation in support of a partnership the university has with the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. For the last year, he has participated in an ad hoc working group on cybersecurity issues convened by the Maryland Governor's Office of Homeland Security and engages with other state departments and private groups on cyber issues as the university's representative.

Wednesday, October 14
 4–5 p.m.

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Note: This event is ideal for prospective graduate and undergraduate students

Cybersecurity Concerns for Online and Hybrid Classes

Moderator: Alex Kasten

Presenters:
Dr. Chike Patrick Chike
Olubusayo Ladelokun

Students and professors at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) have given much thought to the novel coronavirus's impact on schools and how best to provide a quality education through mainly digital means. CySP scholar Olubusayo Ladelokun, and Professor Chike Patrick Chike, who are focusing their academic and professional pursuits on the intersection of digital technology and cybersecurity, said the ongoing public health crisis has exposed some critical concerns about our go-to systems for distance communication and information sharing.

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For schools to successfully deliver educational material and instruction, they must address three key concerns—communication, security, and access—as they work out plans to safely re-open and prepare for a school year that may rely heavily on delivering education material online, UMGC's scholars agree.

About the Speakers

Alex Kasten is a media relations specialist with University of Maryland Global Campus. He is a multi-dimensional communications strategist and writer with extensive experience leading media relations, content marketing, digital storytelling, and branded collateral initiatives for clients in the higher education, non-profit, health and technology sectors. For over 25 years, he has written extensively on cybersecurity, interactive media and business education. He holds a master's in communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Chike Patrick Chike is a cybersecurity consultant and systems engineer with over 20 years of experience in the federal, state, and private sectors. He currently serves as a cybersecurity consultant at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration GOES-R Project. Chike has also worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Agriculture. Dr. Chike teaches cybersecurity at UMGC and Bowie State University. He earned a Doctor of Science in cybersecurity from Capitol Technology University and a Master of Science in Law (with emphasis in cybersecurity law) from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. He also earned a Master of Science in information security and assurance from Purdue University Global. His professional certifications include CISSP, CEH, VCP, CNE, MCSE, and CompTIA A+/Network+/Security+. Chike is a member of World Association For Academic Doctors (WAAD) and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

Olubusayo Ladelokun is a graduate student at University of Maryland Global Campus and recently became a Department of Defense (DOD) cyber scholar. In the past 5 years, he worked in the IT industry for several organizations, including the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Health and Census Bureau. Ladelokun is working toward his goal of opening a cybercafe and initiating a program where students have free hardware and software resources to cybersecurity learning in Nigeria. He hopes to ensure schools all over Nigeria are well equipped with the resources to allow students to succeed in the tech industry.

Monday, October 19
1:30 p.m. ET

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Whose Election is it, Anyway?

Moderator:
Alex Kasten

Presenter:
Bruce DeGrazia

No election is credible if it has been manipulated. Recent U.S. elections have been perceived as tainted by cyber and other attacks. How safe is the election process from hacking? Where are the vulnerabilities? Can the system be made secure?

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This discussion will examine recent incidents of alleged manipulation of the process, through both technical and social engineering, and consider various solutions proposed to address these issues.

About the Speakers

Bruce DeGrazia is professor of cybersecurity management and policy at University of Maryland Global Campus. In 2002, he co-founded the Homeland Security Industries Association, a trade association representing the interests of over 400 homeland security companies. He previously served as VP and deputy general counsel of Versar Inc., an engineering company focused on defense-related projects.

From 1997 to 2001, DeGrazia served as assistant deputy under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Quality, where he was responsible for the DoD policy on compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, environmental management, historic buildings and archaeological artifacts. He is a member of the Illinois bar and has degrees in law and cybersecurity.

DeGrazia is vice president of the National Capital Region chapter of ISC² and subcommittee chair for CBRN detection standards in ASTM International's Homeland Security Committee. He is a CISSP and has held Network+ and Security+ certifications.

Alex Kasten is a media relations specialist with University of Maryland Global Campus. He is a multi-dimensional communications strategist and writer with extensive experience leading media relations, content marketing, digital storytelling, and branded collateral initiatives for clients in the higher education, non-profit, health and technology sectors. For over 25 years, he has written extensively on cybersecurity, interactive media and business education. He holds a master's in communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Monday, October 19
3:30 pm – 4:30 p.m.

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Assessment Security in Online Learning Environments

Moderator:
Dr. Jen Simonds

Presenter:
Dr. Douglas Harrison

The rapid shift to remote teaching and online learning has generated a spike in concerns about integrity and authenticity of online education, especially online assessments. This session separates fact from fiction about online learning and the assessment security.

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Specifically, this session:

  • Provides a survey of threats from the new cheating economy
  • Identifies comprehensive suite of technology interventions
  • Contextualizes cyber threats to educational enterprise within broader efforts

Whether participants are educators, industry professionals, regulators, or policy makers, this session will provide a valuable overview of situational factors, operational realities, and best practices for creating secure, authentic online learning environments.

About the Speakers

Dr. Jen Simonds is the Assistant Vice President in charge of the Office of Academic Integrity and Accountability (OAIA) at University of Maryland Global Campus. Housed in Academic Affairs, the OAIA promotes integrity through collaborations with multiple units within Academic Affairs and handles academic misconduct cases using UMGC’s learning-focused philosophy of academic integrity. Jen earned an MA in education from Seattle University and an MS and PhD in developmental and personality psychology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining UMGC, Jen was a professor of psychology and a department chair at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Douglas Harrison is Vice President and Dean of the School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology at University of Maryland Global Campus. In addition, he leads UMGC's strategic initiatives to strengthen the security of online teaching and learning and to secure the university's intellectual property on the internet. Within higher education, Harrison consults nationally on matters of academic integrity, authentic teaching and learning, and faculty performance assessment. Prior to joining UMGC, Harrison held administrative and faculty appointments at Florida Gulf Coast University, Trinity Washington University and James Madison University. His work in higher education has been recognized by the National Education Association's Award for Excellence in the Academy and the John W. Kluge Fellowship from the Library of Congress. Harrison received his bachelor's from the University of Missouri St. Louis, and his master's and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.

Wednesday, October 21
4:30 pm – 5:30 p.m.

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Note: This event is ideal for prospective graduate and undergraduate students

How I Became A Cyber Rock Star?

Moderator:
Dianne O'Grady-Cuniff

Presenters:
Jordan Bennet
Kimberly Mentzell
Tony Punturiero

Breaking into the field can be daunting for many people seeking Cybersecurity positions. Decisions regarding whether one should take the technical route or the management and policy route are difficult to make and considerably depends on one's academic and professional goals.

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Join us for a session with K-12 leaders in cybersecurity as they discuss the path they have taken to become "cyber rock stars," and ways you can take charge of your cyber career aspirations.

About the Speakers

Jordan Bennet is a UMGC graduate with a bachelor's in Computer Science. His cybersecurity experience began with the U.S. Navy reserve, where he currently serves as a Cryptologic Technician. Over the last five years, he has also worked as a civilian in various government contracting positions supporting the cyber mission. He is currently a graduate student at Hood College. Outside of work, Jordan enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He is also an avid fan of the Chicago Bears.

Dianne O'Grady-Cunniff is the Director of the Maryland Center for Computing Education. She also serves as the Vice President of the Maryland Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

After working in the industry and spending more than 20 years teaching computer science at all grade levels, O'Grady-Cunniff started work in system administration and learned how important teacher recruitment and support is to computer science education. She believes that computer science should be available to all students because it opens doors and fuels creativity.

Kimberly Mentzell is a teacher at Frederick Community College and the Frederick County Career and Technology Center (CTC) High School in Frederick, Maryland. She has also recently accepted a position with Capitol Technology University. Her classes include cybersecurity, networking, Linux, web development, programming and hardware/software. She holds the following active certifications: CCNA-Cyber Operations, CCNA-Routing and Switching, A+, Network+, Security+, and CCAI. She is pursuing her third master's degree in Cybersecurity at UMGC.

In addition to teaching, Kimberly is the founding and current advisor of the nationally ranked CTC Cyber Team, and a member of the Frederick County Public Schools Technology Review Committee. Kimberly also serves on the FCC Curriculum Committee, and continually develops cybersecurity and related curricula for both high school and college courses. She is also a member of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) and Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Tony Punturiero is the community manager for Offensive Security and is a Pentester graduate in the private sector. He's very passionate about red team development and supporting open source projects such as Kali Linux. Tony earned a BS in Cybersecurity from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), where he is also a board member for the award-winning UMGC Cyber Padawans. Over the years, he has participated in over 250 cybersecurity competitions across the globe and is a two-time SANS Netwars Champion.

Thursday, October 22
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET

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Note: This event is ideal for prospective graduate and undergraduate students

Gamified Secure Application Development

Presenter:
Steve Pelletier

(Secure Code: Warriors)

Engage your developers with a gamified platform that helps build security awareness throughout your organization.

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The first hour will be the presentation, and then the next hour we'll all play in a Secure Code tournament/game.  In addition to registering for the meeting, sign-up for the tournament prior to the meeting.

About the Speakers

Steven Pelletier is a regional sales executive for Secure Code Warrior, a global software security company that aims to make software development more secure by offering an interactive training platform. After serving 10 years in the U.S. military, Pelletier transitioned into the technology industry, where he has helped organizations understand complex business requirements while implementing new solutions to help advance their missions.

Monday October 26
11:00 a.m. ET

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Risk-Based Security Control Assessments for Federal Information Systems

Moderator:
Dr. Loyce Best Pailen

Presenter:
Helen Nelson, NIST

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) was enacted in 2002, and requires all federal agencies "to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for the information and information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency."

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In support of FISMA compliance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a framework, including a set of Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), that government agencies are required to use in order to achieve compliance. Additionally, many non-governmental and commercial organizations have also willingly adopted FISMA, in order to achieve the high level of assurance for information security that compliance provides

This presentation will provide a high-level overview of how NIST performs security control assessments of the services, applications, and systems, including those in the cloud, that it uses to support the organizational mission. It will also cover the system security life cycle as well as the types of security assessments (and the advantages and disadvantages of each type).

About the Speakers

Helen Nelson is an Information Technology Security Officer (ITSO) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing dedicated support to the NIST Office of the Director, Office of the Associate Director for Management Resources (ADMR), Office of the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services (ADIIS), and Office of the Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP). In her role, Nelson coordinates on the technology support requirements as well as the development and acquisition of new systems, applications, and services to support the NIST mission.

Helen has a B.S. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She holds the following IT security professional certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and IT Infrastructure Library (ITILv3).

Monday, October 26
4:30–5:30 p.m. ET

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Note: This event is ideal for prospective graduate and undergraduate students

Video Cyber Hygiene and Beyond

Moderator:
Marsha Fortney

Presenters:
Jeff Geronimo
Marsha Fortney
Dr. Loyce Pailen

With the explosion in the use of video conferencing tools and technologies over the past six months, awareness about video cybersecurity hygiene has become more critical for students, teachers, teleworkers, and those of you just reaching out to family and friends.

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The session brings to light the cybersecurity concerns about video conferencing, outlining the fascinating features but also discussing the right way to present yourself and your surroundings in the video conference age. Awareness about video hygiene is vital to ensure safety for your intended audience and security against the uninvited.

About the Speakers

Jeff Geronimo is an adjunct associate professor in the Writing Across the Curriculum area, teaching primarily advanced technical writing. Geronimo is also the manager of the educational consulting and training team at Blackboard, where he is responsible for delivering educational technology consulting and training services to clients in K-12, higher education, business, and government. He also manages a team of other consultants and training specialists who deliver these services around the globe. Geronimo is an experienced instructor, faculty developer, instructional designer, and educational consultant. He has taught at notable schools such as University of Maryland Global Campus, Northern Illinois University, and Columbia College Chicago. Geronimo is currently a Ph.D. candidate in instructional design and technology at Northern Illinois University. He holds a master's degree in technical writing from Chatham University, and a bachelor's in English from Northern Illinois University.

Marsha Fortney is a faculty training specialist at University of Maryland Global Campus.  In this role, she hosts the Lunch & Learn Webinar series, Community Meet-Ups, and Virtual Faculty Development Conferences. Since 2004, Fortney has helped professionals grow and thrive in an online environment. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska and her graduate degree at Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Loyce Best Pailen has more than 35 years of experience in information technology, having worked in cybersecurity, software development, project management, telecommunications, risk management, and network and systems security and administration. She is the senior director for the Center for Security Studies at University of Maryland Global Campus, overseeing the university's DHS/CAE activities and PI for several grants.  She has held director-level information technology positions at the Washington Post, Graham Holdings, UMGC, and Computer Sciences Corporation (contracting for the U.S. Department of Defense - Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy). Pailen is the author of a fun and enlightening series of children's books about cybersecurity and the use of emerging technology and safety in the digital environment. She holds a DM from UMGC.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the importance of empowering citizens, businesses, government, and schools to improve their cybersecurity preparedness. This month reminds us that being more secure online is a shared responsibility, and creating a safer cyber environment requires engagement from the entire American community.

Join UMGC leaders and special cybersecurity industry guests for exciting and engaging webinars and fun activities that include essential topics related to cybersecurity awareness. Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, professor, graduates, or teleworker, we have a webinar that will provide you with the tools you need to do your part and #BeCyberSmart in today's world.

Note: Please note that each of the cybersecurity awareness month webinars will be closed captioned.

Additional accommodations can be requested on the event registration form. If you require a special accommodation to fully participate in this event, e-mail Accessibility Services or call 240-684-2287. Please allow a minimum of 72 hours prior to the event to arrange the accommodation.