Aerstone’s Micah Tapman participated in a panel discussion on cyber threats at the Utah Cyber Defense Challenge & Symposium on Friday, June 1, 2012. The panel was led by SAIC’s Peder Jungck and included Matt Might, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, University of UtahDmitry Dessiatnikov, Principle Consultant, Accuvant, Inc.; and Brandon Greenwood, Director of IT Security and Compliance, Overstock.com.

The panel discussed several topics related to cyber threats including the development of new offensive and defensive cyber measures; the challenge of mitigating social engineering and the “human OS” problem; and legal and regulatory considerations for businesses.

One of the most interesting issues raised was a new initiative by the University of Utah to retrain/refocus the computer science department to make sure every class includes a cybersecurity element. This will help ensure new graduates are well prepared to develop secure systems and begins the process of integrating security into the curriculum instead of treating the subject as an add on to be implemented after design or even implementation of a system.

The event also featured a competition among several teams managed using SAIC’s CyberNEXS competition platform. For those who are unfamiliar with CyberNEXS it’s a very interesting concept and worth exploring. The basic premise is a virtualized and highly customizable cybersecurity training/testing platform with a scoring system for real time monitoring of team performance.