Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 1 Nov 2017

The internet has transformed the way we live, work, and interact. In many respects, it has also opened up uncharted legal territory, with experts scrambling to sort out the implications. Businesses want to know who is liable if sensitive data is compromised in a breach. Individuals want to protect themselves from losses and damage incurred by events such as “doxxing” or identity theft. The list goes on.

We asked Dr. Curtis KS Levinson, a leading cyber policy expert, to identify some of the hot-button legal issues impacting the cyber arena. Dr. Levinson is the US Cyber Defense Advisor to NATO and also runs a private consultancy specializing in compliance, continuity/recovery, governance, and security issues.

While cyber law is a vast field, Levinson said, four areas are of particular interest currently: ransomware, identity theft, the Internet of Things, and the legal requirement (in many states) for businesses to have a valid Written Information Security Program on file.

Ransomware: In recent years, more and more individuals and businesses have fallen prey to cyber criminals who infiltrate computer systems, encrypt valuable assets, and threaten to destroy the data or render it permanently inaccessible unless money is paid to them. “I almost always recommend not paying the ransom,” Dr. Levinson says. “Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for it to have it happen all over again.” Those hit by such an attack, he notes, not only suffer the consequences of losing their data but must go through the often messy process of assigning valuation to what has been lost. If they have taken out cyber insurance, there may be questions as to what is covered.

Identity Theft: Malicious actors not only appropriate the identities of individual persons but in some cases are able to impersonate entire organizations. In both cases, Levinson says, questions may arise as to who is liable for actions performed in the name of that individual or organization. “It’s not like with credit card fraud, where you’re only liable for a set amount and the credit company picks up the rest,” he warns. “If your identity has been stolen, there may be no clear limitation on what you’re legally liable for, and for how much.”

Internet of Things (IoT): “We’re currently filling our homes and offices with IP-enabled gadgets, from coffeepots to security systems. All these devices and networks are potentially vulnerable to being breached or hacked,” Levinson says. “Your IP-enabled security system may be protecting your home or office, but who is protecting the security system?” If a system is breached and a home or business is attacked, questions arise concerning the legal recourse for victims and the liability that can be assigned to the manufacturer of the system or the vendor that sells it.

Written Information Security Program (WISP): More and more states are now requiring businesses and organizations to have a valid Written Information Security Program (WISP) on file – but many are unaware of the requirement or the steps needed for compliance, Levinson says.

If an incident occurs and a business does not have a valid WISP, any cyber insurance it has purchased may be of no avail. “There’s a lot of fine print involved in cyber insurance, and often that includes a clause stating that you must not only have a WISP in place and have tested it. Your organization can pay cyber insurance premiums every month and then not be able to collect when an attack happens.”

At Capitol Technology University, students earning a masters in cyber security will take IAE-671 Legal Aspects of Computer Security and Information Policy. This course provides an overview of the legal rights and liabilities associated with operation and use of computers and information, including the legal and regulatory compliance issues critical for chief information security officers.




Posted by raherschbach on 31 Oct 2017

"Winning this scholarship has not only lifted my financial burden, but brought smiles to my family," Avrum Gudelsky Memorial Award winner William Shaw said Wednesday (October 25) at the university's annual Scholarship Appreciation Breakfast.

Shaw is one of 55 Capitol students who have been awarded a wide variety of scholarships for 2017-18. Many were at the breakfast event, which gives scholarship winners an opportunity to meet and mingle with benefactors, trustees, faculty, and administration.

A senior majoring in computer science, Shaw chose Capitol for his university degree after getting to know the university while a high school student at Charles Flowers High School, which has an ongoing student internship program with Capitol. His experiences at Capitol have helped him develop his computer science skills to the point where he has been able to mentor others, Shaw said.

"Instead of me going to people for help, people have started coming to me for help," Shaw noted.

Capitol's new president, Dr. Bradford L. Sims, was on hand to thank benefactors and highlight the essential role they play in sustaining the life of the university and helping students achieve their academic goals.

The event also featured a keynote address by Thomas Scholl, a technology entrepreneur and inventor who founded the Hal and Kay Scholl Family Foundation Scholarship in honor of his parents. He spoke of Capitol's unique attributes as a university, describing it as a "gem" in the DC metro area.

"As a student, if you want to get a degree in engineering, technology, computer science, or cybersecurity, it turns out your choices are actually quite limited when you take everything into account: location, school size, tuition, curriculum, on/near campus living, online/in-class courses, and so on." When all these factors are taken into consideration, Capitol "comes out very favorably and often at the top," Scholl said.

Scholl's son William, who received his B.S. in cyber and information security from Capitol in 2015, then took the podium to describe some of the reasons he chose the Laurel-based university for his degree.

"When I first visited Capitol I came to realize it was the place for me. The things I liked most were the fact that it was close to home, I could study in my dorm room without distraction, and the environment was centered around people helping me succeed,” he said.

The Scholarship Appreciation Breakfast, held each year in the fall, honors the hard work of Capitol’s scholarship recipients and the generosity of those who make the scholarship opportunities possible.

Capitol is the only independent university in Maryland with a specialized focus on engineering and technology. Undergraduate programs offered at the university include astronautical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and cyber and information security. The university offers a wide range of scholarships, including the Avrum Gudelsky and Homer Gudelsky memorial awards, given each year to students who have earned high academic distinction.

For more information on how you can support Capitol students through donations and scholarships, contact Melinda Bunnell-Rhyne, assistant vice president for student engagement and university development, at


Posted by raherschbach on 30 Oct 2017

With interest and employment opportunities in analytics rising at a swift pace, Capitol Technology University is hosting SAS, a leading producer of analytics software, for a special event on Friday (November 3).

SAS representatives will be introducing students to the field, discussing current and future trends, highlighting career paths, and meeting with Capitol faculty to outline specific industry needs that will inform a brand-new master’s degree program in cyber analytics as well as an undergraduate degree program at Capitol in business analytics, to be launched in Fall 2018.

“Analytics is a field with rapidly rising employer demand, “ associate director of career services Sarah Alspaw said. “SAS is one of the key companies in this arena and the insights they provide will be immensely valuable as we prepare to make our new programs available to students starting in Fall 2018. The event will be a valuable opportunity for our students to hear about analytics opportunities straight from the source."

Faculty members will also meet with SAS to help chart out course curriculum and plan resources.

“Our professors will be working with SAS to ensure that students gain experience with the software that the industry is using and that they are obtaining the skills and knowledge that employers need,” Alspaw said.

During the Capitol event, representatives of the company will lead two workshops. An IRS representative will also be joining SAS for a panel on how federal agencies are making use of analytics tools.

“There are many things students can learn from attending the event,” Alspaw said. “They’ll learn about business and cyber analytics, and about a leading organization in the field. They’ll learn terminology used in the field and become acquainted with software and other tools and resources. And they’ll find out about employment opportunities.”

Starting a cyber analytics program is a natural fit for Capitol, given the university’s longstanding engagement with cybersecurity. Capitol was one of the first institutions of higher education to offer an academic degree program in cybersecurity. In 2010, it started the nation’s first doctoral degree program in the field. Capitol’s cybersecurity program is a DHS and NSA-designated Center of Excellence in cybersecurity education.

With the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks on the increase, many see analytics as a way to keep ahead of potential adversaries.

“It opens up the possibility of predicting malicious behavior before it happens,” Alspaw said. “As many companies and organizations have learned, pre-empting an attack is far less costly than cleaning up after one.”

The SAS event will start at 9 am in the Avrum Gudelsky auditorium on the Capitol campus. For more information, contact Career Services at


Posted by raherschbach on 25 Oct 2017

Capitol Technology University may be a small, close-knit school, but its engineering students are making big waves.

At the annual Grace Hopper Celebration this month, senior Zalika Dixon came away with the third-place award in the ACM Student Research Competition, impressing judges with her UV radiation monitoring project.

The internationally recognized competition, held each year in conjunction with the Grace Hopper event, offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to present their original research during a poster session. A panel of judges selects three undergraduate students and three graduate students as the winners, awarding cash prizes to each.

Dixon said she was “extremely proud” of the award given to her project, which was aimed at increasing public awareness of the effects climate change has on UV radiation. To help accomplish this goal, she created a portable UV datalogger using an Arduino board, SD card reader, and battery back, using this device to monitor UV data over a period of 10 days. 

“I noticed that interest in my project was strong, particularly in the later part of the poster session,” Dixon said. “It seemed that word was getting around about the project.”

Judges, she said, asked probing questions during the session. Were variations noted in UV intensity over successive days? Who designed the equipment for collecting the data?  How long did it take to complete the project?

Although nervous, Dixon fielded the questions with professionalism and poise. Then, when the competition winners were announced, she was elated to hear her name called.

She says electronics courses at Capitol helped her build the fundamentals needed for her research. She also credits participation in TRAPSat, a student-led project at Capitol. “Through TRAPSat, I got hands-on experience with Arduino and microcontroller programming,” Dixon said. “I learned how to integrate hardware and software.”

“Since TRAPSat is interdisciplinary, I learned how to work with people from different majors,” she said. “And because we have ongoing collaborations with NASA, I’ve gained experience with working in a professional environment.”

While continuing her studies and participation in TRAPSat, Dixon now plans to expand her research project  by designing a UV alert system for the Capitol Technology University campus.

Engineering professor Dr. Garima Bajwa, who mentored Dixon as she planned and implemented her project, says Dixon’s project was especially notable because of the commitment she demonstrated, and also because of its applicability to the wider world.

“She started it from scratch and saw it through with great dedication,” Bajwa said. “The project is also important because it involves outreach, in that she is seeking to bring awareness to the community about a critical issue. It’s important for young engineers to recognize that what we do has significance for society as a whole, and Zalika understands this very well.”

The Grace Hopper Celebration, produced by and held in partnership with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It was held from October 4-6 in Orlando, Florida.

For a video clip of Zalika Dixon receiving her award, click here.


Posted by raherschbach on 19 Oct 2017

Golf enthusiasts and members of the Capitol Technology University community gathered on a brisk day in Windsor Mills on Monday (September 16) for a golf outing in support of student scholarships.

With autumn leaves and the rolling hills of central Maryland as a backdrop, 12  teams comprising 48 golfers teed off at The Woodlands, a challenging but fun course designed by celebrated golf course architect Lindsay Ervin, who has deemed it his “best design.”

Held every year in the autumn, the event raises proceeds that then go towards scholarships awarded to students. The 2016-17 Golf Scholarship winners, Ralph Stormer and Pierce Smith, addressed participants at the event.

Stormer said that he used the golf scholarship money to perform needed upgrades to his computer.

“I’m an astronautical engineering major, which means that I will have to run programs like STK, which is used for tracking satellites and propagating orbits,” Stormer said. “These programs are computationally and mathematically intensive."

The computer enhancement, he said, allows him to run these programs more smoothly and has freed up time for his senior project, which is focused on developing a modular design for CubeSats.

Smith spoke of his roots in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania and recalled how he decided at an early age that he wanted to be an astronautical engineer. “I chose Capitol because of its hands-on activities and its great ability to get you a job,” he said.

Since his sophomore year, Smith has served as lead engineer for the Cactus-1 satellite mission, one of the most ambitious aerospace endeavors that the university has so far attempted.  In addition, he has helped design payloads for other projects conducted by student teams at the umiversity.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without scholarships,” he said.

Dr. Bradford L. Sims, the new president of Capitol Technology University, greeted the two scholarship recipients and also announced the tournament winners.

The Good Guys -- Bob Lentz, Robert Lentz, Tony Solesky, and Brad Tingle -- won first place this year, with a score of 60. Second place went to Pin Seekers – Chris Dionot, Haden Land, Dave Olson, and Chris Thomas – with 62. Shankapotomus, consisting of Fred Hessner, Paige Hessner, Jeff Rhyne, and Melinda Bunnell-Rhyne, won third place with a score of 63.

Jeff Rhyne scored the men’s longest drive, while the women’s longest drive was achieved by Terri Veenstra. The closest to the pin award went to Mark Liberatore.

For photos of the 2017 tournament, click here.