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Cybersecurity Awareness Month

  • Announcements

In October, we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month—previously known as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month— which continues to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our Nation, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. Each year, in conjunction with CISA and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), UMGC and the Center for Security Studies continue to support this effort by providing informative and engaging speakers and panelists to allow you to "Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart."  We are proud to support this essential online safety, awareness, and education initiative and will continue to engage you monthly with important, relevant cybersecurity awareness and cybersecurity career topics. We feel that while October is the ideal time for people to learn about their cyber presence and the role cybersecurity plays in keeping them, their friends and family, and our nation safe and secure, we want to continue this initiative all year.

We will keep the UMGC Cybersecurity Awareness Schedule below updated with links for registration for the virtual Zoom sessions, and also provide recordings of past events. These webinars will encourage individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace by stressing personal accountability, career advancement, and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.

Date and TimeTitleDescription
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
1–2 p.m. EST

Cybersecurity + Agriculture (CyberAg)

Daniel Mintz, Chair, Cybersecurity

Andrew Rose Kimberly Mentzell

There has been a lot in the news lately about the US Food and Agriculture supply chain. You may have been affected by some of these concerns. This enlightening session will feature some of the whos, hows, and whys, as well as a view of the near-shore/future cyber (and closely related) threats to the US Food and Agriculture supply chain.

Andrew Rose started the CyberAg initiative in late 2018 while at Farm Credit (with support from F3Tech and the MD Department of Commerce), after recognizing that the risks posed by cybercriminals and other adversaries in the agricultural sector were not receiving the attention they needed. He helped coordinate several symposiums and events focusing on this topic. In August of 2021, Andrew launched CyberAg (stealth-mode) as a non-profit program of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurial Center (ESEC), in order to bring cyber awareness, education, outreach, and resources to agriculture and food communities.

In addition to his experience in cybersecurity, Andrew has a deep understanding of agriculture, banking and finance, risk management, and other professional service sectors related to food, agriculture, and climate. Attendees will leave this presentation with a profound appreciation of the vulnerabilities and mitigation/response required in this vital area.

About the Speakers

Andrew Rose is deeply involved in the non-profit community, advising many non-profit and social impact organizations. He served as the Chief Strategy Officer in Residence at the Emerging Technologies Centers, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Maryland Cybersecurity Association, judge for Grow-NY AgInnovation events, senior advisor for the national 2020 American Farm Bureau Federation AgInnovation Challenge event, and organizer for TEDxBaltimore events. Andrew helped found the GIVE Program, a leadership training program in Maryland for rising professionals. He is an advisory board member of the Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center, a senior advisor at F3Tech, and the managing director of CyberAg.

Kimberly Mentzell is the Cyber PM at the MD Department of Commerce. She worked in the technology field for over twenty years as an educator and professional in cybersecurity, networking, Linux, and programming. She held positions as an IT manager, network administrator, technology coordinator, programmer, and auditor. Her certifications include CCNA-CO, CCNA, A +, Network+, Security+, and CCAI. She teaches cybersecurity at Frederick CC. Kimberly is a senior advisor to and co-chair for the MD Cyber Education Committee of MCCE. She is a member of CSTA, WiCyS, CAMI, the Maryland Tech Council. She speaks at local, national, and international cybersecurity conferences and events.

Daniel Mintz serves as the Department Chair for IT within the School of Cybersecurity and IT at the UMGC. He manages Graduate and Undergraduate Programs in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Data Analytics, and Digital Media and Web Development. Dan brings his experience as the US Department of Transportation’s departmental CIO from 2006-2009 and business acumen from serving as a CTO and a COO in the federal business marketplace. Dan is a former Federal 100 winner and is a speaker at conferences and events on the impact of technology, and management challenges in Government and commercial organizations, and cyber-security issues.

Wednesday, October 6
Noon–1 p.m. ET

Be Cyber Smart: Cybersecurity for Artificial Intelligence

Helen Barker, D.M.

Jason M. Pittman, Sc.D.

When discussing artificial intelligence in the context of threats and vulnerabilities, we often think of leveraging artificial intelligence to automate categorization of data or reducing the burden of decision making. Artificial intelligence enables us to do more, with less effort, faster. Yet, seldom do we consider cybersecurity for artificial intelligence. That is, how do we use the principles of cybersecurity to render any artificial intelligence safe and trustworthy. In this presentation, I will outline those principles and map out a framework for how we might use them for simple artificial intelligence agents the world has now as well as for the artificial general intelligence (sentient machines) we may have in the future.

About the Speakers

Dr. Helen G. Barker serves as Chair of the Department of Cybersecurity. Before joining UMGC in 2020, Dr. Barker spent 18 years with Capitol Technology University. Prior to her roles in education, Dr. Barker worked for 15 years in the private sector as a management analyst and resource training specialist in the distribution industry in the Washington, DC area and spent five years as a researcher with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) working in the fields of child welfare and economic development analysis.

Dr. Barker received a D.M. in organization leadership, M.S.B.A., a M.S. Information & Telecommunication Systems Management, and has performed doctoral work in public policy and administration. Research interests include bibliometrics, gender discrimination in cyber education, and multi-discipline approaches to cybersecurity.

Dr. Jason M. Pittman is a collegiate faculty member at University of Maryland Global Campus where he serves in the School of Cybersecurity and Technology. He recently served as an associate professor at High Point University in the computer science department. Previously, he was at California State Polytechnic University (Pomona) and Capitol Tech. University. Pittman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a secondary in Biology from Malone College. He received his Master of Science in network security and Doctor of Science in information assurance from Capitol College.

His areas of expertise are cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. His research interests include secure cloud architectures, artificial immune systems for cyber network defense, and information privacy. He brings with him ten years of experience at other academic institutions as well as more than 15 years of industry experience. The majority of these years have been spent at tech focused startups, most notably as Vice President of Security Research and Development at Silent Circle. He is an active scholar with over a hundred books, essays, journal articles, invited lectures, and conference presentations, collectively in his portfolio.

Wednesday, October 13
Noon–1 p.m. ET

Women in cybersecurity - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Ebonése Olfus

Jess Smith
Penny McKenzie
Theora Rice
Liz Faultersack
Courtney Lancaster

In observance of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the University of Maryland Global Campus is hosting a panel event on women in cybersecurity. Learn from professionals about what it's like to work in the cybersecurity field and how to get involved.

About the Speakers

Dr. Ebonése Olfus is a technologist who helps government and non-government entities maximize their tactical and strategic priorities while balancing both existing and emergent cybersecurity needs. She is a former adjunct professor at University of Maryland Global Campus. Dr. Olfus has over two decades of experience in system engineering, system security engineering, cyber technology development, cyber program management, and strategic planning in both the government and commercial markets. She is currently Vice President of Cyberspace and Engineering for Envistacom, LLC which supports a variety of programs within the Department of Defense. Dr. Olfus currently holds the following cybersecurity vendor neutral certifications:

  • ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • ISC2 Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP)
  • ISC2 Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)
  • IACRB Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA)
  • ISACA Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • ISACA Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)
  • NSA- INFOSEC Evaluation Methodology (IEM)
  • NSA-INFOSEC Assessment Methodology (IAM)
  • U.S. Navy Full Qualified Certification Agent
  • Fully Qualified Marine Corp Validation Agent
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Dr. Jess Smith is a Senior Cyber Security Research Scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a US Department of Energy National Laboratory. Dr. Smith has a decade of experience working for both the government and industry. At PNNL, Dr. Smith's research includes control system and supply chain risk management, with ventures into hardware security and data analysis. She has led research projects exploring state machine reverse engineering and defining resiliency in cyber systems. She is currently leading PNNL's supply chain integrity investigation team which supports multiple government agencies.

Prior to PNNL, Dr. Smith has worked in industry at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., MITRE Corp., and as an intern at NASA. Her work included designing secure control system devices, educating control system designers and operators on system security, and exploring new threat vectors. She has also worked on embedding encryption into CPUs and malware analysis through reverse engineering. After completing both a MS and BS in Computer Engineering at the University of Idaho, Dr. Smith earned her PhD in Computer Science from Washington State University while working full-time. Her dissertation explored methods for ensuring supply chain integrity. She has her CISSP and CSSLP certifications and is a member of IEEE and ACM.

Penny McKenzie is a cybersecurity engineer for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory focusing on security of the Internet of Things. She designed and stood up the first PNNL Internet of Things Common Operating Environment (IoTCOE). PNNL IoTCOE capability has a mission to provide customized cybersecurity solutions to the entire Internet of Things (IoT)/ Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) deployment and management lifecycle. IoTCOE is exploring solutions that support chemical, physical, and cybersecurity cutting-edge challenges using visual analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

McKenzie has expertise in network monitoring and intrusion detection of ICS, forensics analysis, policy and regulation determination for incident response for ICS, incident handling procedures, convergence of cyber and physical security, and IoT cybersecurity with an emphasis in intrusion detection and secure coding practices. McKenzie's work supports the IAEA, the US Department of Energy Building Technology Office, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Defense.

Theora Rice is a Cyber Security Researcher in the National Security Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She earned a B.S. and M.S. in computer science from the University of Idaho, where she focused on industrial control system and critical infrastructure security in her graduate studies. Throughout her career at the laboratory, Rice has worked with multiple academic, industry, and government agencies to further expand her knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the critical infrastructure security field. Her current research includes building and maintaining cyber-physical testbeds for ICS security research, energy delivery system forensics, and developing scientific methodology for cyber security experimentation. Rice is currently one of the main system administrators for the powerNET testbed.

Liz Faultersack is a project manager in the cybersecurity group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She has over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and is the project manager for the Cooperative Protection Program (CPP), a cyber situational awareness program for the Department of Energy. Prior to PNNL, Faultersack worked with the Idaho National Laboratory where she implemented and maintained their intrusion detection systems. Faultersack earned a B.S. in computer science from Washington State University.

Courtney Lancaster, a digital forensics subject matter expert, serves as a cyber security instructor and government contractor, developing and delivering a variety of cyber courses. She has worked for the Defense Computer Forensics Laboratory as an imaging specialist with a focus in mobile forensics and investigation for five years and has trained global clients with respect to vehicle investigations and forensics. Lancaster is a DoD Certified Digital Forensic Examiner and has been certified in a Court of Law as an expert witness. Lancaster has trained various Law Enforcement and commercial teams worldwide on the research and development of vehicle forensics, Mobile device investigations, and Computer investigations.

Lancaster worked as a cryptologic technician in the U.S. Navy and has worked in the Information Assurance Directorate at the National Security Agency (NSA) conducting Certification and Accreditation evaluations, COMSEC Monitoring, Master Scheduling, and Strategic Planning. She is also an advocate for youth and women in the field and has been recognized in her field with a number of awards and accolades throughout her career.

Wednesday, October 20
Noon–1 p.m. ET

Cybersecurity Career Paths and the Recommended Training You Need

Dr. Loyce Best Pailen, CISSP

Tricia Umeh

Finding the right career path in the cybersecurity industry isn't always easy. While some know they want to go into the field straight out of college, many work in other industries before exploring a career in the industry. Before you jump headfirst into this specialized field, you should know what a typical cybersecurity career path entails. This webinar will discuss four popular security careers and the recommended training needed in order to be successful.

About the Speakers

Dr. Loyce Best Pailen has more than 35 years of experience in information technology, computer science, 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 the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), overseeing its DHS/CAE activities and as a PI for several grants.

In the K-20 education arena, she has experience in teaching, curriculum development, instructional design, cyber lab development, and as a subject matter expert. She has led and sponsored multi-million-dollar information technology projects during her career at UMGC, The Washington Post Company (Graham Holdings) and the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy (DCITA). Dr. Pailen is the Education Chair and member of the Executive Board of the ISC2-NCR Chapter, Technical Working Group member of FISSEA at NIST, Member of the NICE K-12 Working Group, CCEI collaborator, past president of MAHE, and a member of the Maryland State Department of Education K-12 Computer Science Standards Design Team. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Chapter at UMGC and author of a series of children's books that discuss cybersecurity, use of emerging technology, and safety in the digital environment.

Tricia Umeh is a Project Management and Security Consulting professional knowledgeable in the development and implementation of security programs that leverage enterprise-wide resources, facilitate information security governance, advise senior leadership on security direction and resource investments, and design appropriate policies to manage information security risk. She has worked with numerous federal clients throughout all stages of the security authorization process, applying the NIST methodology including investigation, analysis, and documentation as a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliance consultant.

Umeh's experience in conducting federal system assessments and authorizations has provided her with extensive knowledge of all stages of the security authorization process and of security documentation including System Security Authorization Agreement (SSAA), Concept of Operations, Security Waivers, Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M), Information System Contingency Plans (ISCP), and System Security Plans (SSP).

Wednesday, October 27
Noon–1 p.m. ET

Webinar postponed. Rescheduled Date: TBD


Fight the Phish!

Chinitra Graham
Raj Singh
Todd Pearce

Bad actors are continuing to develop more sophisticated social engineering tactics to include the most common attack pattern, Phishing. Phishing attacks will continue to escalate even as applications and data migrate to more secure cloud environments. It is critical importance that end users learn how to identify phishing schemes and respond appropriately when they are being targeted. In this webinar we will discuss various phishing tactics, response mechanisms and learn about evolving solutions to mitigate phishing attacks.

About the Speakers

Chinitra Graham has served as Vice President of Information Security at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) since October 2020. She provides strategic direction over the information security enterprise and is responsible for security governance, compliance, and risk management.

Graham has more than 20 years of experience in IT and information security in higher education, federal government, and commercial industry. She has served in leadership roles at Laureate Education, where she led the global IT compliance and governance function. Graham also oversaw the global IT audit function at Discovery Communications. She has held senior leadership positions at Deloitte and Touche LLP, and provided clients with broad expertise and innovative solutions to protect and defend their organizations.

Raj Singh, as a risk professional with 15 years of experience, Singh has focused his career on compliance, assurance, and security working across multiple industries including accounting, finance, and government. While he began his career in IT operations, he has spent the last eight years specializing in critical areas directly impacting higher education, including protecting student data, developing a privacy program, and implementing a security governance program. Raj currently serves as Manager for IT Risk and Compliance team at AccelerEd. He earned a B.S. in Information Systems from University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Todd Pearce is the manager of IT Security Operations for UMGC. He has over 25 years of experience in the Information Technology industry ranging from programmer and network administrator to risk and compliance manager. Pearce now works with a focus on cybersecurity through his experience and skillset. Pearce earned a bachelor's degree in social psychology from University of Maryland College Park and has since earned an undergraduate and master's degree from University of Maryland Global Campus in computer and information sciences and technology management.

Friday, November 12
2-3 p.m. ET

Watch Webinar

Not a Techie? How to Get into the Policy and Management Side of IT Security and Privacy

Dr. Loyce Best Pailen

Helen Nelson

There are many paths in the cybersecurity field that suit the personalities and professional goals of different people, including non-technical professionals. Just like other industries, cybersecurity organizations routinely hire individuals in various non-technical fields, such as project management, administrative, HR, and legal roles. In this webinar, learn how a "non-techie" was able to become a cybersecurity and information security management professional, proving that the position can also be one that is invaluable in helping to reshape how people think about the industry.

About the Speakers

Helen Nelson is the IT Security Officer for the Office of the Director (OD) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In addition to being principal advisor to NIST Executive Leadership on security-related matters, she also serves as the OD’s IT Engagement Manager, coordinating and advising on the technology support requirements and the development and acquisition of new IT services to support the NIST mission. She also holds the title of Privacy Liaison, serving as a focal point for privacy compliance-related activities and privacy impact assessments affecting the OD’s programs and operations.

Nelson has a BS in Information Systems from the University of Maryland College Park, as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and IT Infrastructure Library 4 (ITILv4) certifications.

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, graduate, 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.