Cybersecurity and Wireless: Getting the Message Out
Earlier this month, a sudden outage struck one of the country’s largest wireless service providers, temporarily preventing users from making 911 calls.
The 90-minute incident, which affected ATT Wireless customers in several states, has been chalked up to a computer glitch rather than hackers. Nevertheless, it illustrates the chaos and confusion that can arise when wireless communications systems are compromised. Such risks are generating increased concern with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT).
With a burgeoning array of wireless systems that are intertwined with the internet, the need for wireless professionals to become cybersecurity-aware has never been greater, says Dr. William Vic Maconachy, vice president of academic affairs at Capitol.
“More and more today, we’re moving to a completely wireless environment,” Maconachy said. “It’s not just about cellphones. So many devices in the home now have wireless connections – everything from the stove to the coffeepot to being able to access your home heating system before you get home.”
“Beyond that, there’s all the wireless at the industrial and federal sites,” he said. “Wireless is the present and the future, and it’s vulnerable.”
Maconachy and members of Capitol Technology University’s faculty will be taking this message directly to the wireless industry later this month, delivering presentations and seminars at the industry’s largest trade event – the International Communications and Wireless Expo, being held this year from March 27-31 in Las Vegas.
“It’s a place where we’re in the eye of international wireless technology companies, and these companies are in need of our education and our students,” Maconachy said.
Capitol’s presentations at the event will include an all-day introduction to cybersecurity offered by the chair of the university’s cybersecurity program, Dr. William Butler, together with professor Rick Hansen and Board of Trustees member Curtis Levinson, who is US Cyber Defense Advisor to NATO.
Butler and Hansen will also be featured panelists in a 90-minute session on ethical hacking, in which cybersecurity professionals deploy the same tools and knowledge used by malicious hackers, but with a different purpose: to locate system vulnerabilities.
Levinson will also be a panelist in sessions on network jamming detection and on network management and cybersecurity for the IoT. Meanwhile, Board of Trustees member Alan Tilles, a partner at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, will be a panelist in several sessions, including one on the human element in cybersecurity.
This is the third year that Capitol is participating in the IWCE, with which it has an ongoing partnership. As part of the partnership, IWCE members receive a 10% tuition discount on master's-level courses at Capitol, which are provided online via a live, synchronous classroom (to apply, click here and be sure to choose IWCE in Section 2, question 6).
The IWCE is regarded across the industry as the authoritative annual event for communication technology professionals. Each year, it attracts technology buyers from a wide variety of professional sectors, including government/military, law enforcement, public safety, emergency response, the medical profession, transportation, and business enterprise. The event features over 350 exhibitors and attracts an estimated 7,000 participants yearly.
“Every one of the participants in this conference can benefit from the education and degree completions that we offer here at Capitol,” Maconachy said. “And the fact that we provide these programs live and over the net, with proven delivery capability and quality, is something we feel will be of great interest to IWCE attendees.”