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Posted by raherschbach on 3 Apr 2018

Jason M. Pittman, Sc.D.
March 30th, 2018

Privacy, because of its perceived necessity today, is rarely questioned in the context of tomorrow. To question privacy is to commit a grave act of heresy. As a result, the Age of Information has engendered an information model that has divided humanity into those with information and those without information. The measuring stick that serves as the fulcrum between those divisions is privacy.

Stock photo illustrating the concept of internet privacyWe want privacy, but we want information too. We want information from others, and about others, but we do not want our information to be known. A subtle paradox exists therein.

If we are to survive as species during the next age, the Virtual Age, we need to ask tough questions about privacy.

You might be in the camp that demands more privacy. I suspect that you demand privacy because you feel that your information is valuable and threatened. You might be in the camp that is indifferent as long as your technology continues to work. In other words, you are comfortable with information being used as a currency to pay for services.

Or you might be in the camp that feels that privacy is secondary to (national) security. To you, information is ageless, and of perpetual use; thus that information holds strategic value.

To be fair, human cognition can be quite nuanced. Not only are there perhaps more camps to define but an individual may belong to multiple camps depending upon the nature of the information. For the purposes of the present discussion, I will leave aside the question of how demands for privacy can be categorized; I am more interested in exploring questions related to all the categories of privacy demand. Further, I am posing these questions in the context of the future.

Thus, the simple question, to begin with, is: is information privacy good for our future?

You surely have an answer. Given the state of affairs in modern society, you might be screaming, “yes!”. I bet that you at least nodded your head in affirmation.

If we are talking only about the present -- about now -- I might nod my head too. I'm not so convinced, however, about privacy in relation to tomorrow.

In fact, my position is that privacy is a flawed concept, flawed in ways that will pose more and more of a problem as we journey into a future of immersive technology and interconnection. It is already becoming, in some respects, a dangerous anachronism. Ultimately it may threaten the existence of our species. Like an appendix, privacy is a vestige waiting to burst from infection. And we are dangerously infected with the notion that privacy is good for us.

You most likely feel differently about privacy. You should; the present day is fraught with information used as currency. You should; today, we still view information as something permanent, as something to be owned and safeguarded. But this perspective may reflect a basic conceptual distortion.

When I started pondering the simple question of whether privacy is good for our future, I held the notion that privacy was a necessity. After all, we believe that privacy is something that we fight for, something that is to be won. Privacy is under attack; we must defend. The statistics could not be a lie: the public overwhelmingly (more than 90%) believes privacy to be important.

This, of course, is a good narrative because it appeals to our natural senses. That is, the sense to belong to a group, the sense to defend that group, and the sense to fight. And why suspect that the need for privacy is anything more than just a story? After all, we understand that privacy is a fundamental characteristic of the human condition. Privacy is something we naturally crave, we naturally need. Privacy is a redistribution of information power which keeps us safe from prying (electronic) eyes. On the other side of this same coin, those who threaten privacy are the adversary. The only use for (our) private information is a nefarious use, or so the narrative goes.

However, even if such claims are true, will those claims also be true in the future? There’s no guarantee of course. What if we want to ensure that the truth of those claims persisted into the future -- wouldn’t it make sense to find out if there are any flaws in privacy? Or, if those claims were no longer true, wouldn’t it make sense to gain an understanding of what we might gain as a result?

For the moment, I will leave these questions for your consideration. Stay tuned as we consider them further in next week's blog post.

Blog

Posted by svanhorn on 2 Apr 2018

Stock photo showing a robot hand about to shake a human hand

They’re invading the sky, the land, the sea! Unmanned systems are being used in more and more industries to do jobs too dangerous, dirty, tedious, or even impossible for people to do. As the industry continues to expand, many worry about the security of their jobs and whether or not they might soon find themselves replaced by an unmanned system.

“In the future we will absolutely be seeing more unmanned systems,” says Dr. Richard Baker, unmanned systems scholar and professor. “An unmanned system is any electromechanical system which has the ability to carry out a predetermined or described task, or a portion of that task, and do it automatically with limited or no human intervention,” Dr. Baker explains.

There are many different kinds of unmanned systems. Land vehicles, like large combines, are being used in the farming industry. Aerial vehicles, like the popular lightweight quadcopter, are being used in the film industry to get beautiful overhead shots. Some of the most recognizable unmanned vehicles are even helping us to explore outer space.

“A land vehicle would be the Mars Rover,” says Dr. Baker. “We don’t think about it, but that really is a ground vehicle that’s being used to explore another planet.”

Photo of Dr. Richard Baker“In the water there are many different kinds,” he continues, “but they are starting to use them for mobile vehicles on the water’s surface to be security, harbor patrol. There’s actually an unmanned cargo vessel being used in Russia. They are using large cargo ships that are unmanned to transport goods, and I expect that to be going on in the future.”

With so many industries affected, should people be worried about their jobs? Dr. Baker says no: “What we’re doing is we’re creating whole new fleets of vehicles that need the support of engineers, maintenance, refuelers, software engineers, and administrators. There are new industries being created with new jobs.”

So it takes more than just skilled programmers to create successful unmanned systems. Engineers, designers, computer scientists, cyber experts, industry specialists, and more will all be potentially employable working on unmanned systems. But will some jobs be altogether eliminated?

“They’ll probably be changed because they’ll be able to use a robot to do something,” says Dr. Baker. “For example, when you think of firefighting, let’s use these vehicles to fight a fire. Alright, well who’s going to run them? Firefighters. They know where to put them and how to use them. So what we’re doing is we’re creating more jobs to create the vehicles and we’re creating new tools that the industries can use.”

“Overall, the use of unmanned systems is creating more jobs,” says Dr. Baker. “The first people that worry about them are pilots. Are we going to be replaced by them, and that answer is absolutely not. This is an environment that is complementary to manned aviation. We will eventually see manned and unmanned aircraft working together. We’ll see aircraft and water and ground vehicles working together because they’ll be communicating. So this is a world that is growing rapidly and it’s increasing the number of jobs.”

Capitol’s unmanned and autonomous systems programs are set to begin this Fall of 2018. To learn more about our programs, check out: Unmanned and Autonomous Systems and Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Policy and Risk Management.

Blog

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 29 Mar 2018

Stock photo: Become a cyber analyst With growing interest in the use of new tools and approaches to close off vulnerabilities in the multitude of IP-enabled devices Americans use at home and at work, now is an ideal time to gain the skills needed to become a qualified cyber analyst.

Forecasts for the cyber analytics industry are bullish, as sophisticated tools and software emerge that can help analysts pinpoint vulnerabilities and close off attack vectors using a data-driven approach.

“With the Internet of Things, we’re seeing the security challenge escalate exponentially, to the point where long-established cybersecurity tools and techniques no longer suffice,” says Dr. William Butler, chair of the cybersecurity program at Capitol Technology University. “The data-driven, analytical approach offers cybersecurity professionals some additional, very powerful tools to include in their toolkit.”

Below are some essentials you need to know concerning the rapidly emerging cyber analytics career field.

What is cyber analytics?

According to the Ponemon Institute, cyber analytics “applies big data tools and techniques to capture, process and refine network work activity data, applies algorithms for near real-time review of every network node, and employs visualization tools to easily identify anomalous behavior required for fast response and investigation. Cyber analytics allow Security Operation Centers (SOCs)/Network Operation Centers (NOCs) and network analysts to more easily recognize patterns of activity that represent network threats.

Why is it significant?

In a nutshell: cybersecurity threats have escalated in volume and sophistication, while the number of internet-connected devices continues to burgeon – with some estimates forecasting 50 billion such devices by 2020. The number of trained cybersecurity professionals is too small to keep up, and the standard tools and techniques are often no match for sophisticated adversaries working round the clock.

“There are not enough cyber specialists in organizations to deal with the number of threats today, and the imbalance will likely become much worse,” reports Deloitte Insights.  “Cybersecurity is too often reactive to hacks and breaches, with actions only taken after (sometimes long after) a problem has occurred. The technology most commonly used to address cyberattacks employs ‘threat signatures’ based on patterns of previous attacks. But these approaches are of limited value in preventing new types of attacks.”

How much does a cyber analyst make?

An Indeed.com search for jobs in the Washington, D.C. area with the keyword “cyber analytics” brings up hundreds of positions, with salaries ranging from $95,000 to $135,000.

What companies are looking to hire cyber analysts?

A search for the job title “cyber analyst” brings up openings from major corporations and government contractors, including Boeing, General Dynamics Information Technology, Lockheed Martin, ManTech International, Mitre, and SAIC, as well as numerous smaller businesses and start-ups.

What companies produce cyber analytics products and tools?

Sqrrl, co-founded in 2012 by former US cybersecurity policy director Ely Kahn, is known for its visual cyber threat hunting platform, which combines analytics, machine learning, and risk scoring. The platform generates a behavior graph that allows users to track security holes and detect previously unknown threats. In 2018, the company was acquired by Amazon Web Services. Other companies in the arena include Carbon  Black, DB Networks, EndgameFireEye, and Novetta.

SAS, the longtime leader in business analytics, launched its cybersecurity platform in 2015. The product “correlates and analyzes billions of daily network transactions with business contextual information across organizations such as asset data, functional business role, and existing security alerts,” writes IT journalist Nestor E. Arellano. Users can then gain an ongoing, real-time view of security risks.

How can I gain the knowledge and qualifications needed to become a cyber analyst?

Capitol Technology University, a longtime leader in cybersecurity education and a DHS and NSA-designated Center for Academic Excellence, is one of the first universities in the nation to offer degrees in cyber analytics, with programs available at the undergraduate and master’s levels. Interested in learning more? Contact Capitol’s admissions department at admissions@captechu.edu.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 29 Mar 2018

Photo illustrating an iPhone teardownApple’s iPhone-X, launched in October 2017, was conspicuously designed with the future in mind. By ditching the familiar home button and adding Face ID recognition, it embraces an immersive technological future in which less and less separates us from our devices – which, increasingly, know who we are and will carry out tasks for us with a voice command, and perhaps someday even a thought.

On March 23, students at Capitol were treated to an up-close tour of the technological wizardry driving the new iPhone. Dr. Bill Cardoso of Creative Electron presented a live teardown of the iPhone-X before an enthusiastic audience, in an event sponsored by Surface Mount Technology Association.

For students at a technology-focused university, the event served as a striking reminder that the subjects they are studying continue to yield transformative innovations – breakthroughs that rea reshaping the way humans live, work, and interact.

“At Capitol, we’re always looking for ways in which our students can see the practical applications of what they’re learning in the classroom – to see what they’re going to be doing five, ten, or fifteen years down the road,” said Sarah Alspaw, director of career development and student success.

Students who attended the teardown presentation said they had been intensely curious to learn more about the inner workings of a device that millions of people use daily.

Computing engineering major Zalika Dixon says she was struck by “the way the circuits were laid out inside the iPhone and the incredibly small spacing between the components. I didn’t realize how complex these phones have become.”

“I had an Iphone growing up and never had the chance to break it down, though I always wanted to,” said  James Tribiano, who also studies computer engineering. “It was great to see him separate each little component and explain its function – this is where the camera connects, this is how the mother and daughter board connect, and so on. I’m really glad I came out and saw this.”  

“You use the phone and get the results from the hardware inside,” said Quinto Palmer, a student in the electrical engineering program. “This was a chance to see all those intricate parts and learn how they all come together.”

The Surface Mount Technology Association is an international network centered on electronic assembly technologies, with chapters across the United States and in several countries worldwide. The association provides a venue to share experience and knowhow, develop their skills, and make professional contacts. For students, it can be a valuable source of job leads.

Student SMTA chapters include Binghamton University, NC State, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, and University of Texas at Arlington. A Capitol Technology University is in the process of formation.

“Capitol has several degree programs that are aligned with the SMTA’s areas of interest,” Alspaw said. “These include our newly launched undergraduate programs in mechatronics engineering and mechatronics and robotics engineering technology, as well as our existing electrical engineering programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

“Helping our students chart their career paths is a high priority for us at Capitol, and initiatives such our partnership with SMTA are one way we do that,” Alspaw said.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 27 Mar 2018

This coming fall, Capitol is set to launch two new unmanned systems programs: an undergraduate program in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems, and a master’s program in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Policy and Risk Management.

A student experiments with a droneTo give our students the hands on experience they need, Capitol has partnered with Textron Systems, part of multi-industry company Textron and a manufacturer and operator of numerous unmanned systems. Recently, Textron Systems representatives Adam Leachman and Steve Lister visited Capitol during our undergraduate career fair to meet our students and demonstrate some of their unmanned technology. They spoke with Capitol's Meghan Young about the company, industry developments, and career paths for students.

MY: Can you tell me a little more about Textron as a company?

Leachman: Textron as a whole is a conglomerate of many different companies, including well-known brands like Cessna and Bell Flight. Textron Systems, which is the company that I primarily work for, has been involved with unmanned systems for several decades.

MY: How will Textron Systems be evolving in the future?

Leachman: We’re evolving in many different areas as far as unmanned systems. The newest venture that we’ve been involved with is  an unmanned maritime craft or surface vehicle called the CUSV™. We are also always furthering our unmanned systems aircraft systems with platforms such as NIGHTWARDEN™ Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Aerosonde® Small UAS and Aerosonde HQ. In addition to Textron Systems’ unmanned products, the company also designs and manufactures marine craft, armored vehicles, precision guided weapons, as well as a wide range of other products. The company is always looking to evolve its products to ensure it meets its customers’ future needs.

MY: What kind of academic prep would you like to see in students who come to work for Textron Systems?

Leachman: What we like to see in Aerosonde training is somebody with a networking background, aviation background, and/or basic knowledge of aviation. You don’t need to be a private pilot to fly these systems, but you must have knowledge of aerodynamics, weather, and networking is really key to these systems. It’s less about being a pilot and flying the system as it is managing the system from a software standpoint.

MY: For our unmanned systems undergraduate level they’re talking about requiring that students get that first level certificate as part of the program. Would that help them in terms of getting a job?

Leachman: The course will give the student the information they need to pass the FAA part 107 knowledge test. After passing the test they will be able to fly small UASin a commercial capacity.

MY: Would a second level certification, which will be offered as optional through our program, be more beneficial to students?

Leachman: Students with a second level certification, have a distinct advantage over other applicants when applying for a position. These students come to us with an unmanned systems degree, but also have experience flying a larger platform such as the Textron Systems’ Aerosonde.  

MY: So what kind of soft skills are you looking for potential employees to have?

Leachman: Personal skills are very important in our industry as often we deal with military customers on a regular basis. So, the ability to act professionally under pressure is important to us.

MY: What kind of positions are you hiring for currently?

Leachman: We are hiring for many different positions right now. Everything including engineers, aircraft designers, pilots of UAVs, designers for UAVs, system programmers, and system engineers.

MY: Could someone who didn’t go through one of our unmanned systems programs – a cybersecurity or astronautical engineer, say – could they find a job with Textron Systems?

Leachman: Yes, absolutely.

MY: What are the opportunities for upward mobility at Textron Systems like?

Leachman: For instance, myself and Steve we both started off as Aerosonde instructors – operators – and now we’ve progressed into the management chain. So, in approximately five years, we went from basic Aerosonde operators, which is what somebody in this degree program would start as, to managers.

Lister: One of our colleagues utilized Textron’s tuition reimbursement benefit and went back to school for a master’s degree. Once you have that degree, the company immediately utilizes your new skills. Textron likes to hire entry level talent, develop and grow that talent, then provide opportunity and promote from within the organization.

MY: Why would you recommend that our students come to work for Textron Systems?

Leachman: Opportunities. Textron Systems really takes care of their employees. There are opportunities for professional development within the company, as well as opportunities such as the tuition reimbursement program to continue your learning.

Lister: One of the good things that I like is that, if you ever conquer your area and you’re looking for a new opportunity or career move, they can help you find that next step in your career within Textron Systems or within the larger Textron enterprise. Textron has a number of development programs where you can rotate between roles and business units.  This allows you to gain experience within different areas and pick which one is right for you.

Textron Systems businesses develop and integrate products, services and support for customer missions including defense, homeland security, aerospace, and infrastructure protection. To learn more about Textron Systems, please visit their website at https://www.textronsystems.com.

CUSV, NIGHTWARDEN and AEROSONDE are either trademarks or registered trademarks of AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems.


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