Oct. 18: Cyber Security research symposium

The University of North Dakota School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (SEECS) will play host to the Cyber Security Awareness Research Symposium on Thursday, Oct. 18, on campus.

The industry-led symposium is slated to begin at 7:45 a.m. next Thursday, with a welcome and introduction from Grant McGimpsey, vice president for research & economic development and head of the School of Graduate Studies at UND; and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Prakash Ranganathan, director of Cyber Security Programs at UND. All symposium events will take place in Merrifield Hall (third floor), centrally located in the heat of the UND’s campus.

Ranganathan, the symposium chair, says the event, which coincides with October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, is meant to stress the importance of cyber security.

“This is the perfect time of year for individuals, businesses and other organizations to reflect on the university of cyber threats and to do their part to protect their networks, their devices and their data from those threats,” said Ranganathan.

The symposium schedule is packed with exciting information, including the best password length and combinations, penetration tests and real-world hacking examples, highlights of social engineering-based threats, and economic analyses of growing cyber threats. It will feature several information technology experts from the private sector and public higher education, including Justin Nygard, a technical solution professional at Microsoft and Brad Miller, director of information security with the North Dakota University System.

A cyber security panel also will convene at noon as part of the symposium, featuring representatives from the banking industry, John Deere, Minnkota Power, Altru Health System, and UTC Aerospace Systems. Lunch will be served for registered participants.

UND and North Dakota State University student research posters also will be on display from 1-1:45 p.m.

Here is complete rundown of the day’s events:

  • 7:45 a.m., Welcome and introduction from Grant McGimpsey and Prakash Ranganathan.
  • 8 a.m., Overview of UND’s One IT Strategic Plan, Madhavi Marasinghe, University chief information officer.
  • 8:30 a.m., Cyber Security Trends & Solutions, Justin Nygard.
  • 9:30 a.m., Penetration Testing Projects overview with security consultant Weston Hecker.
  • 10:30 a.m., Social Engineering Threats: Live Case Studies, Brad Miller.
  • 11:15 p.m., Password Cracking: Live Demo, James Maguire of High Point Networks in Fargo.
  • Noon, Lunch and Cyber Security panel.
  • 1 p.m., UND and NDSU student research posters on display

SEECS is a part of the UND College of Engineering & Mines.

The symposium is sponsored and supported by the University of North Dakota, UND College of Engineering & Mines, UND’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems, the UND Data, Energy and Cyber and Systems lab, and John Deere.

Please visit this site to register for the Cyber Security Awareness Research Symposium. Deadline is noon Monday, Oct. 15.

Please check out the UND Parking and Transportation division’s campus map for the layout of short-term visitor and longer-term paid parking options.

All questions regarding the symposium can be directed to UND Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Prakash Ranganathan at 701.777.4431, or at Prakash.ranganathan@engr.und.edu.