Cybersecurity – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 27 Apr 2022 13:31:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.4 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Cybersecurity – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Institute cadets and faculty mentors earn two of three awards at first joint SMC event https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-dept-of-defense-cyber-institute-cadets-and-faculty-mentors-earn-two-of-three-awards-at-first-joint-smc-event/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 23:35:17 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31758 Cyberspace is a battlefield and the adversary is always out there. We need you defending our country in the cyber environment.]]>

And Citadel team places second out of ten colleges in NWIC (Atlantic) cyber defense competition

Photo above, left to right: Cadet Slaltean Frederick, Dr. Shankar Banik, and Cadets Shiloh Smiles and Jared Johnson posing with their awards at the inaugural conference on Cybersecurity Research in Undergraduate Programs held at Norwich University.

Just as The Citadel cybersecurity programs and initiatives continued to grow this academic year, cadets in the program expanded their skills and experiences through cyber defense competitions, their work with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute, the college’s CyberCorps Scholarships for Service program and, for the seniors, planning for the next stage of their careers by accepting positions as cyber defense professionals.

A highlight of the spring semester was the first gathering of cadets from America’s six Senior Military Colleges who are participating in their school’s Department of Defense Cyber Institute. It was hosted by Norwich University in early April.

The inaugural conference on Cybersecurity Research in Undergraduate Programs (CyRUP) was a collaborative effort between the military colleges who are jointly dedicated to advancing cybersecurity research and to developing research opportunities for undergraduate students. Cadets from The Citadel, the University of North Georgia, Texas A&M, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech and Norwich University, as well as professionals from U.S. Cyber Forces, gathered to learn more about current research interests and what is coming next in cybersecurity.

The Citadel earned two of the three awards presented at the conference. The Best Paper Award went to cadets Jared Johnson, Eric Lilling and their faculty mentors, Drs. Shankar Banik and Deepti Joshi, for “Efficient Phishing Detection using Email DNA.”

The Best Presentation Award was earned by cadets Slateon Frederick, Jessica Roginski, Shiloh Smiles, Noah Wells and Banik, their faculty mentor. The presentation title: “Context Aware Access Control for Internet of Things (IoT) Network.”

Other cybersecurity news from The Citadel: cadet team takes 2nd place in college division at NIWC cyber defense competition

The Citadel Cybersecurity competition team during the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic  2022 Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition
The Citadel cybersecurity competition team posing for a photo after earning second place in the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic 2022 Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition

The Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic hosted the 2022 Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition this spring. The three day event included a competition between 10 colleges. The Citadel team earned second place, just behind Clemson. The cadet participants were: Jared Johnson, Ben Race, Robert Roser, Shiloh Smiles, Trey Stevens and Noah Wells.

Additionally, The Citadel’s cybersecurity programs director, Shankar Banik, Ph.D., provided a keynote address during the three day event.

This kind of experience will give you an edge and a platform to apply your skillsets to a real-world situation. A degree is one thing, a certification is one thing, but learning in this way — how to do the critical work of hardening systems and testing your skills — is invaluable.

Cyberspace is a battlefield and the adversary is always out there. Students like you give us hope and we need you defending our country in the cyber environment.

Dr. Shankar Banik, professor and Graduate Program director of Computer Science, co-director for the Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel

Read more about the event here.

Dr. Shankar Banik, professor and Graduate Program director of Computer Science, Co-director for the Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel, speaking to high school competitors during the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic 2022 Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition
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Cybersecurity cadet mentors AFJROTC cyber team, helping lead them to #1 in SC, and now a national competition https://today.citadel.edu/cybersecurity-cadet-mentors-afjrotc-cyber-team-helping-lead-them-to-1-in-sc-and-now-a-national-competition/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 20:41:43 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29897 Ashley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC Cyber competition team being trained in lab by Citadel Cadet Trey StephensAshley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC Cyber competition team being trained in lab by Citadel Cadet Trey Stephens"It's really been great to have the leadership of Cadet Stephens, and now the other Citadel cadets who are engaging to help the Ashley Ridge High School cyber team continue to grow and thrive."]]> Ashley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC Cyber competition team being trained in lab by Citadel Cadet Trey StephensAshley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC Cyber competition team being trained in lab by Citadel Cadet Trey Stephens

Photo above: Citadel Cadet Trey Stevens (far left), with members of the Ashley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC cybersecurity competition team training in the high school’s lab.

Ashley Ridge High School’s JROTC Cybersecurity team competing in Maryland

A senior cadet who is a quadruple major heard about a need and stepped up to meet the challenge. Cadet Trey Stevens is majoring in Computer Science, Cybersecurity Operations, Intelligence and Security Studies, and Criminal Justice. He is studying as part of the first group of cadets with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute, and will be working with the Department of Defense after graduating in May.

Stevens learned that Ashley Ridge High School’s Air Force JROTC (AFJROTC) wanted to start a cybersecurity team to help expand interest in the field as the country’s need for cyber defenders continues to escalate. He met with the head of the unit there and set up weekly training sessions for the students.

About eight months later, the high school’s Swampfox AFJROTC Cyber Team — that Stevens helped develop and mentors — is surpassing all expectations. The Dorchester County high schoolers earned their way to the top in South Carolina, placing first in the state’s Platinum Tier overall in the All-Service Division. Now they are competing in CyberPatriot XIV—the fourteenth season of the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, held March 17 – 21 in Bethesda, Maryland.

“The Swampfox team could hardly believe it when they realized they qualified for the nationals,” Stevens said after receiving the brackets for the final competitors.

Stevens, along with two other Citadel cadets who will take over as mentors next year, some of the Ashley Ridge cyber team and their AFJROTC unit leader, Major Bill Clark III, a Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, are in Maryland for the event after fall competitions narrowed the field from several hundred down to 28 finalists. The team’s travel expenses are all being covered by the competition.

“The students worked incredibly hard to make getting to a national competition a reality,” said Stevens. “Not all of the team member could travel to Maryland, but most will be able to take part in the next competition for the Ashley Ridge Swampfox JROTC Cyber Team which is the Palmetto Cyber Defense Competition on April 4 in North Charleston, much closer to home.”

The students on the Ashley Ridge Swampfox JROTC Cyber Team include:

  • Russell Brady – Unit Commander
  • Caleb Huckabee – Unit Commander
  • Emma Huckabee
  • Jade Benesh
  • Mikayla Benesh
  • Jean Lim
  • Jacob Kramer
  • Lindsay Shuford
  • J’Metrius Stanley

The Ashley Ridge cyber team visited The Citadel over their holiday break, practicing inside a lab on campus to get experience in a different venue.

Citadel Cadet Trey Stevens (left) with member of the Ashley Ridge High School Air Force JROTC cybersecurity competition team and one of their upcoming mentors for 2022-23, Citadel Cadet Dalton Hazelwood, posting for a photo in December when the high school team visited The Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina.

The two cadets besides Stevens accompanying the Foxswamp team in Maryland, Dalton Hazelwood and George Poleski, will be taking over as mentors for the incoming students who will begin training with the Ashley Ridge AFJROTC cyber team in the fall.

“It’s really been great to have the leadership of Cadet Stevens, and now the other Citadel cadets who are engaging to help the Ashley Ridge High School cyber team continue to grow and thrive,” said Major Clark. “Our high school AFJOTC cadets look up to The Citadel cadets and see a possible path for their futures.”

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Commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command to speak at critical infrastructure conference event at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/commander-of-u-s-army-cyber-command-to-speak-at-critical-infrastructure-conference-event-at-the-citadel/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 21:20:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29978 Headshot of LTG Stephen Fogarty US Army Cyber CommandHeadshot of LTG Stephen Fogarty US Army Cyber Command Attendance is open to professionals working in organizational functions responsible for infrastructure security. ]]> Headshot of LTG Stephen Fogarty US Army Cyber CommandHeadshot of LTG Stephen Fogarty US Army Cyber Command

AND: The Citadel selected to join Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network

Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), will make a keynote address at The Citadel during the Jack Voltaic cyber conference. The conference will take place on the iconic Citadel campus in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 24 – 25, 2022.

Fogarty’s presentation begins at 9a.m., Feb. 24, preceded by comments from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and will be livestreamed with a link available to a registered audience, including media. The conference theme is Cyber Resiliency for Critical Infrastructure. Attendance is open to professionals working in organizational functions responsible for infrastructure security.

The Jack Voltaic project and conference series is designed to enable the Army Cyber Institute (ACI) to study incident response gaps alongside assembled partners to identify interdependencies among critical infrastructure and provide recommendations. The program provides an innovative, bottom‐up approach to critical infrastructure resilience, focusing on cities and municipalities where critical infrastructure and populations are substantial.

LTG Stephen G. Fogarty, commanding general, US Army Cyber Command, speaks to cadets in at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on March 26, 2021.

Fogarty assumed command of ARCYBER in 2018. He visited The Citadel in 2021 to speak with cadets studying cybersecurity and toured the campus. His second visit, to participate in the Jack Voltaic event, comes shortly after The Citadel was selected to join the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) Academic Engagement Network (AEN).

To request the link to the livestream, please email kkeelor@citadel.edu.

Training America’s cybersecurity professionals

There are 84 academic institutions partnering with CYBERCOM in AEN, including 70 universities, 14 community colleges, nine minority-serving institutions and four military service academies, spanning 34 states and Washington, D.C.

The AEN military components include CYBERCOM Headquarters, ARCYBER, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network, the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), Air Force Cyber Command/16th Air Force, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, U.S. Marine Forces Cyberspace Command, and the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command. 

“(U.S.) Cyber Command’s goal for the AEN is to strengthen our relationships and communication with these participating institutions,” said David Frederick, CYBERCOM’s executive director. “This will improve and sustain our efforts to meet cyberspace educational requirements and workforce needs.”

According to a January 5 CYBERCOM release, the AEN will support and enhance four primary lines of effort (LOE): future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics and strategic issues. These LOEs are intended to serve as an investment in creating a robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals. “With our academic partners, we can shape our cyber workforce while supporting the command’s mission,” Frederick said.

“The Citadel is proud to be included in this prestigious partnership with U.S. Cyber Command,” said The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’79. “With The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute already under way, and the growing number of cybersecurity cadets and students in our programs, the college is prepared to contribute highly trained, workforce-ready cybersecurity professionals to help defend the country.”

The AEN extends partnerships to institutions through collaboration and access to CYBERCOM via scheduled events and engagements with command staff, the CNMF and the four component commands.

Frederick added that “this network will further enable us to shape and enhance cyber-focused innovation with partnerships and support the Department of Defense’s ongoing strategic dialogue on cyberspace.”

Some of the requirements for AEN selection include:

  • Cyber-related engineering programs
  • Intelligence-related programs
  • Applied analytics-related sciences programs
  • Process-related programs and certifications such as Project Management
  • Regional accreditation by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Read more about the matrix of cybersecurity and intelligence programs, scholarships and opportunities at The Citadel and through The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute, here.

Contact the Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences here, or apply to attend The Citadel here.

LTG Stephen G. Fogarty, commanding general, US Army Cyber Command, touring The Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina on March 26, 2021.
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The Citadel to host prestigious Jack Voltaic cyber conference in February 2022 https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-to-host-prestigious-jack-voltaic-cyber-conference-in-february-2022/ Tue, 21 Dec 2021 14:48:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=29444 "Cyber attacks are escalating. They impact government and private sector interests at all levels."]]>

Photo above: Cadets in a Computer Networks class for cadets and veteran day students led by Professor Shankar Banik at The Citadel in February 2020.

Registration now open for segment at The Citadel in Charleston, S. C.

Prepare. Prevent. Respond. Report. 

Those are the key areas to be addressed during the Jack Voltaic Conference Series (JVCS) segment being hosted by The Citadel — in Charleston, South Carolina — Feb. 24-25, 2022. The theme: Cyber Resiliency for Critical Infrastructure.

“Cyber attacks are escalating. They impact government and private sector interests at all levels. This emphasizes that the need to protect the country and our shared interests is more pressing than ever,” said Shankar Banik, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences and director of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. “The purpose of the JVCS is to inform and align professionals supporting America’s critical infrastructure, strengthening the network focused on resiliency.”

The final segment of the four-part series will be held at the University of Illinois in May. Other partner institutions, which include Norwich University Applied Research Institute and the Georgia Cyber Center, held events in 2021. The JVCS is led by the Army Cyber Institute at West Point.

“We will review research findings from previous Jack Voltaic exercises, share tools and learn in workshops through this partnership event that joins the businesses and public entities owning and operating assets and systems important to the country’s critical infrastructure,” Banik said. “We will work to identify gaps that may leave some areas vulnerable and to address those gaps.”

Some of the speakers and panelists include:

  • Klint Walker, Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Security Advisor, Region IV
  • Robert Lee, Dragos, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
  • John Strand, Black Hills Information Security, Owner and Security Analyst

Who can attend the JVCS event at The Citadel?

The Citadel is sending invitations to potential conference attendees including state and federal public entities that protect America’s critical infrastructures; cybersecurity professionals; leaders of infrastructure supporting entities; educators and researchers from academic institutions; and cybersecurity, intelligence and security studies cadets and students.

Others with related interests are also encouraged to apply. Approximately 230 people can be accommodated. For more information, email msaunde4@citadel.edu.

Register for JVCS at The Citadel HERE.

Cybersecurity programs at The Citadel

The Citadel is a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber (NCAE-C), designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security since 2016. The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) was established in 2020 with federal funding to help train the next generation of cyber warriors.

Cybersecurity programs at The Citadel include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations
  • Cybersecurity minor
  • Cyber Interdisciplinary Studies minor
  • Cybersecurity graduate certificate (offered jointly with the College of Charleston)

Additional opportunities for cadets and students studying Cybersecurity at The Citadel include:

Cadets in a Computer Networks class for cadets and veteran day students led by Professor Shankar Banik at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on February 11, 2020

Related undergraduate and graduate degrees at The Citadel include Computer Science, Intelligence and Security Studies, two master’s degrees and several graduate certificates.

For more information about earning degrees as a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets visit this webpage or email admissions@citadel.edu.

To pursue degrees through The Citadel Graduate College, go here

College undergraduates considering degree completion programs can learn more here.

For veterans considering studying cybersecurity at The Citadel, more information can be found here.

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New CyberCorps Scholarship for Services cadets announced https://today.citadel.edu/new-cybercorps-scholarship-for-services-cadets-announced/ Thu, 28 Oct 2021 17:33:33 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=28136 The Citadel Cybercorps Scholarships for Service 20221-22 cohortThe Citadel Cybercorps Scholarships for Service 20221-22 cohortIt provides scholarships for undergraduate students who will pursue employment with a government entity after graduation.]]> The Citadel Cybercorps Scholarships for Service 20221-22 cohortThe Citadel Cybercorps Scholarships for Service 20221-22 cohort

Photo above: Clockwise – Cadets Annabelle Miller, Khalil Al-Nakhala, Nathanael Ling, Nathanael King and Noah Wells.

There are five new cadets studying this fall at The Citadel with CyberCorps Scholarships for Service support.

They are:

  • Khalil Al-Nakhala
    Hometown: Hingham, Massachusetts
    Areas of study: Intelligence and Security Studies with Cybersecurity minor
  • Nathanael King
    Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
    Areas of study: Computer Science and Cyber Operations double-major
  • Nathanael Ling
    Hometown: Mebane, North Carolina
    Areas of study: Computer Science and Cyber Operations double-major
  • Annabelle Miller
    Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware
    Areas of study: Intelligence and Security Studies major with Cybersecurity minor
  • Noah Wells
    Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
    Areas of study: Computer Science, Mathematics and Cyber Operations triple-major

The program is designed to recruit and train cybersecurity professionals to meet the needs of federal, state, local and tribal government organizations. It provides scholarships for undergraduate students who will pursue employment with a government entity after graduation.

Members of the first cohort of cadets initially selected for the kick off of the program in 2020, Andrew Lindenmeyer, Shiloh Smiles, Philip Quinn and Ashley Ruiz will graduate in 2022 or 2023, and are already working with cybersecurity professionals through internships and mentorships. Lidenmeyer, for example, is a Computer Science and Cyber Operations double-major who has already interned with the National Security Agency and the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, where he will work fulltime after graduating in 2023 while pursing a master’s degree, which he expects to complete in one year. Ruiz, an Honors Program student majoring in Intelligence and Security Studies and Political Science with a minor in Cybersecurity, has completed internships with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of State and the National Security Agency.

The Citadel was awarded a $2.8 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 2020 to create South Carolina’s first CyberCorps Scholarships for Service program.

Summary of cybersecurity programs, scholarships, designations and events at The Citadel

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship (DoD CySP)
These scholarships, supported through the Department of Defense, are designed to encourage the recruitment of the nation’s top cyber talent to help secure America against threats. Currently The Citadel has seven DoD CySP Scholars (six Cadets and one graduate student).

The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI)
The CDCI mission is to ensure the delivery of principled leaders who are experts in cybersecurity and have the skillset and experience required to begin working for the U.S. Department of Defense as soon as they earn their degrees.

The Citadel CyberCorps Scholarships for Service program
See the article above or read more about the program here.

Cybersecurity/Intelligence Scholars
An innovative program for gifted students who have a strong interest in cybersecurity and national security affairs.

National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense
The Citadel was recently re-designated a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense through 2028 by the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency,

Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Citadel chapter
There is a new Citadel chapter of the national WiCyS organization. Recently, travel grants were provided for 10 cadets and students to travel to the national conference.

Degrees in cybersecurity and operations
One of the colleges most popular undergraduate majors is Cyber Operations. Graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply security principles and practices to the design and implementation of the physical, software and human component of the cyber systems
  2. Analyze and evaluate cyber systems with respect to security
  3. Identify, analyze and mitigate threats in the cyber system

Other related academic programs, including a master’s degree and graduate level certificate can be viewed here.

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Do your part to #BeCyberSmart https://today.citadel.edu/do-your-part-to-becybersmart/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 19:55:23 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27679 Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel"Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background..."]]> Matriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelMatriculation Day for the Class of 2025 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel

By CDCI Team

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) will be identifying the many ways you can protect your cyber presence at home, in the workplace and on the go.

Cybersecurity is vital as we continue to grow and evolve in our everyday use of technology for both work and play.

CDCI is hosting and participating in several events on campus and kicked off National Cybersecurity Month by providing CDCI spirit towels at the Bulldogs game against VMI. Next up is a cadet-led Lunch and Learn event from 12 – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the Riverview Room upstairs in Coward Hall. The event is free but registration is required by going to this link.

5 things to remember about Cybersecurity

Here are five tips from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to keep in mind during Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond.

Double your login protection.

Enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts and devices to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media and any other service that requires logging in.

Shake up your password protocol.

According to National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard password for different sites, which can prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach.

Never click and tell.

Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all criminals need to target you, your loved ones and your physical belongings—online and in the real world.

Keep tabs on your apps.

Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk.

Stay protected while connected.

Before you connect to any public wireless hotspot – like at an airport, hotel, or café – be sure to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate.

What is CDCI?

CDCI is an acronym for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute. The Citadel and the nation’s other five senior military colleges have each received approximately $1.5 million of federal money to establish cybersecurity institutes as pilot programs on their campuses. The objective of CDCI is to provide highly skilled, principled leaders for the Department of Defense who are ready to join the cyber workforce on “day one” after graduation.

For more information on CDCI, please visit: https://www.citadel.edu/root/cdci

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My Ring Story: “through adversity to the stars” https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-through-adversity-to-the-stars/ Tue, 05 Oct 2021 21:09:32 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27579 Cadet Ashley Ruiz is from Taylor, Michigan. She is a double major in both Intelligence and Security Studies and Political Science.]]>

Meet Cadet Ashley Ruiz, Class of 2022

Cadet Ashley Ruiz is from Taylor, Michigan. She is a double major in both Intelligence and Security Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Cybersecurity. This year, Ruiz serves as the 5th Battalion Academic Officer.

Q. What is engraved inside your ring and what is its significance?

A. The Latin phrase “per aspera ad astra.”

Its translation is “through adversity to the stars.” It’s a reminder to be resilient. Success isn’t possible without failure and shortcomings, but failure is not futile. It’s your ability to remain steadfast in pursuit of your dreams, even when you meet obstacles, that defines who you are.

Q. Why do you think the ring symbolizes?

The symbolism is not that of your own achievement, but of the bond that it establishes between those who came before you, those who will graduate with you and those who will come after you. The ring’s worth is made greater by the family, mentors, educators and, most importantly, classmates who pushed you along the harder path. Its weight is made up of each late night and early morning, every sweaty parade and PT session, and all the good and bad times that you experience throughout your cadet career.

5th Battalion Staff before the first dress parade of 2021

Q. Did you ever envision this moment?

No, I did not. After graduating high school in 2017, I was in an unstable living situation where I often had to live out of my car. Meanwhile, I had to work 40 hours a week just to pay my bills and afford to take courses at my local community college. I wasn’t sure what direction my life was headed in. However, one day I decided that I wanted to add structure to my life, get a four-year college education and challenge myself to do something meaningful. I decided a military college would be the best option to achieve these things and I ultimately stumbled across The Citadel.

Luckily, I was accepted on a nearly full-ride academic scholarship. I never imagined how transformative this experience would be for me, nor how much the personal adversity I faced before matriculating would translate into the hard-work mentality which has allowed me to be successful at The Citadel. Seeing the ring on my finger makes the journey feel like it has come full circle and I cannot be more grateful.

Q. Who inspired you throughout your journey here at The Citadel?

My mom. Resilience is an integral value to me, and my mom is the embodiment of resilience. As a single parent, she sacrificed so much to make sure that I was successful and had the opportunity to go to college. She often put her dreams to the side to make sure that my dreams were actualized, and that is truly inspiring to me.

Cadet Ashley Ruiz, center, with Cadets Reanna Wrecsics and Jack Simone at the first home football game of the 2021 season

Q. When you look down at your ring, what will you remember about your experience?

Ordinary and mundane moments. Things like laughing in the mess hall, sitting out on the dock with friends, barracks shenanigans, pulling all-nighters for SMIs or tests, and much more.

What are three things The Citadel taught you?

  1. Hard work is the greatest key to success. Whatever your aim is (good grades, a high PT score, etc.), it all depends on the effort you are willing to put into it.
  2. Your days depend on your mindset. You have the choice to make the best or worst of your experience at The Citadel.
  3. Practice empathetic leadership. You can solve a lot of problems by understanding why people react positively or negatively to something. Empathetic leadership gives you the ability to give everyone a fair shot at telling their story, rather than making rash judgments based on rumors. Furthermore, it forges a greater foundation of trust.

About The Citadel Class of 2022 Ring Stories

Left to right: MSG Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO, and MAJ Samantha Walton, Regimental Public Affairs Officer, Class of 2022

The Class of 2022 Ring Presentation Ceremony was held on Friday, Oct. 1. The stories presented here are the result of the leadership of Regimental Public Affairs officer, Major Samantha Walton, and Regimental Public Affairs Non Commissioned Officer, Cadet Olivia Hime. Both women will also receive their rings and will graduate in May.

Walton, who is from Macon, Georgia, attends The Citadel on an U.S. Army scholarship and will accept a commission to become an officer upon graduating. She is majoring in Political Science and holds the Charles Foster Scholarship.

Hime, who is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, is a junior and a member of The Citadel Honors Program. She is majoring in Biology, has repeatedly earned gold stars and President’s List positions for academic excellence. Hime will graduate in May, a year early, and plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

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Cyber experts weigh in after Georgetown County ransomware attack https://today.citadel.edu/cyber-experts-weigh-in-after-georgetown-county-ransomware-attack/ Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:40:34 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22915 screen shot of Prof. Cory Nance from Live 5 reportscreen shot of Prof. Cory Nance from Live 5 reportDr. Nance works at The Citadel training the next generation of “cyber soldiers” who will fight against hackers, he said.]]> screen shot of Prof. Cory Nance from Live 5 reportscreen shot of Prof. Cory Nance from Live 5 report

As seen on WCSC-TV Live 5
By Carter Coyle

Watch the video version of this report on www.Live5news.com here.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The last year many have learned how to increase personal hygiene through proper hand washing, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Just like that physical protection, security experts say we must be diligent about “cyber hygiene.”

It’s estimated that globally there’s one ransomware attack on a business every 11 seconds,” Cyber Security Professor Dr. Cory Nance said. “Most of them are cyber criminals- financially motivated.”

Dr. Nance works at The Citadel training the next generation of “cyber soldiers” who will fight against hackers, he said. The Citadel has several educational paths for cadets wanting to specialize in computer sciences. Dr. Nance said the industry has negative unemployment rate as the need for cyber experts increases.

He said the bad actors are constantly developing new malware including ransomware to attack individuals, businesses and governments in a form of digital warfare.

Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that “global ransomware damage costs will reach $20 billion by 2021.”

“This is a tough problem and certainly not going away anytime soon. The attacks are just becoming more and more sophisticated with more psychological pressure being put on these organizations to want to pay that ransom,” Dr. Nance said.

That’s exactly what happened seven weeks ago in Georgetown County. https://4230f556a36ace6ba15014901dbf3f6d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Public Information Officer Jackie Broach said that just like hurricane or tornado, a cyber disaster hit the county on January 22 in the form of a ransomware attack.

“It really shut everything down from Wi-Fi to email,” Broach said. “We couldn’t access files on our network. It really did just bring us to a grinding halt. The only thing that still worked was our phones cell phones and desk phones.”

Ransomware basically locks up and encrypts a computer system and files, and then hackers demand money for the decryption key.

The Georgetown County attack is still under investigation so Broach said she couldn’t divulge the amount of the ransom.

“But it was a large amount in cryptocurrency, which I think is standard,” she said.

Instead of paying the ransom, the county’s IT department has been rebuilding, upgrading and fixing every computer and at least 50 servers.

“The county’s IT Department has done what normally would take six or seven months of work in the last five weeks,” Broach explained. “They are just trying to work around the clock as quickly as possible to get things back up and running and basically rebuilt from scratch.”

Thankfully, Broach said, Georgetown County does have cyber insurance.

The more than $250,000 dollars in expenses because of the attack will only cost them a $10,000 deductible.

She said citizen information was not exposed or accessed, and that “files are still there, files are still fine,” they just couldn’t open them because of the ransomware.

Even if they’d wanted to pay the ransom to speed things along, Broach said there’s no guarantee the hackers would have followed through with their end of the bargain.

“In a perfect world, no one would pay the ransom,” Bruce Smalley said.

Smalley is the Chief Information and Risk Officer with the State Law Enforcement Division. Whether to pay up depends on the entity’s resources and backup options, he explained.

“Without backup capabilities, many organizations unfortunately are left with no choice but to pay the ransom.” And such a cycle only encourages the lucrative attacks to continue.

Smalley and his team at SLED are working to make sure hackers don’t make it that far. He leads the Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program, a taskforce of cybersecurity experts in South Carolina.

“You may not think of South Carolina as a cyber security hub,” he said. But Smalley said their program has been touted as one of the best in the country. “The reality is most states do not have a program that can match the capabilities of South Carolina. In fact, the national Governor’s Association said South Carolina has the most comprehensive and innovative Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity in the country.”

One goal of SC CIC is to train state agencies and governments to prevent cyber-attacks. They also act on intel and leads to stop them ahead of time.

SC CIC will also investigate when malware attacks do get through, like in Georgetown County. Broach said SLED is investigating in that case to help them find out more about the hackers and origin of the attack.

“It really just boils down to protecting the citizens of South Carolina,” Smalley said, adding that SC CIC operates on an $800,000 annual budget.

“We were able to save the taxpayers of South Carolina close to $15 million in cyber and cyber-related expenses…That’s a pretty great return on investment,” Smalley said.

The City of Charleston recently signed on to that free partnership with SC CIC.

He said the city’s layers of security have thwarted many attempted attacks. “They do happen constantly all day. Emails are trying to come in. Our system filters emails before they even come in. They may be laced with malware or ransomware.”

Ratterree said with SLED’s help, the city recently sent a test email to employees trying to collect information like a hacker would to gauge where security weaknesses are. His team also reached out to Georgetown County after their hacking incident.

“It’s a learning tool at their expense unfortunately. But we always investigate those scenarios, especially if they’re close to home,” Ratterree said.

We asked dozens of local municipalities if they’ve ever had attempted or successful cyber-attacks. While they were hesitant to release details for security reasons, some cities and counties told us they have multiple layers of cyber security. Others have cyber insurance to protect them in case of an incident.

Ratterree said a system is most vulnerable with its end users, the every day employees in the system who just checking their emails and doing their jobs, not necessarily thinking about cyber security attacks day to day.

That seems to be the case in Georgetown County, Broach said. “I think it’s fair to say it’s nobody’s fault. It came in via an email to a staff member like a phishing email. It was not one of those “crown prince so and so.” It was very sophisticated.”

Cyber-attacks do not just put a citizen’s personal or financial information at stake. They could also have life or death consequences if successful.

A hacker got into a Florida city’s water treatment system earlier this month and tried to poison the water supply with lye.

A future hack into our power grid could be devastating, Dr. Nance said.

“As we’ve seen recently in Texas – even though that wasn’t an attack – you see what happens when the power goes out. And if a bad actor can make the power go out like that in the winter, that can have huge ramifications for the people.”

Georgetown County Human Resources Director Walt Ackerman answered questions from Georgetown County’s Council during last week’s meeting.

“Insurance will get us back to where we were, but now we are a target. We’ve had several attempts at breaches since we were attacked, so if we don’t put additional protections in place, we’re just going to be in the same boat again,” he said.

The Council approved $140,000 to implement equipment upgrades now that they had planned for the next couple of years. The experts we talked to say more communities should consider such cyber investments now to prevent disasters in the future.

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Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter follows up with 2020 Scholarship Awardees at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/women-in-defense-palmetto-chapter-follows-up-with-2020-scholarship-awardees-at-the-citadel/ Wed, 17 Mar 2021 18:16:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22741 Provided by Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter (WID) Pictured above (left to right): Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, 2020 Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math]]>

Provided by Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter (WID)

Pictured above (left to right): Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, 2020 Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Scholarship awardees

On a beautiful February day, representatives from the Women in Defense (WID) Palmetto Chapter headed to The Citadel to follow up with Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther, the awardees of the WID 2020 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Scholarship.

Layden is a senior and double majoring in Computer Science and German with minors in Cybersecurity and Fine Arts, and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at The Citadel. Guenther is a sophomore and is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is also a member of AFROTC.

This academic year has been far from typical for the students. We asked Layden and Guenther whether they were on track with their goals, what unique challenges they faced this year, and what advice they would offer to other women pursuing STEM majors.

Both are on track with their ambitious goals despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Layden plans to commission with the USAF as a cybersecurity officer upon her graduation in May from The Citadel. She was on the dean’s list in the fall semester and is the vice commander of her AFROTC wing. Guenther has continued with her internship at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, where she has been able to apply fundamentals of engineering.

Campus life has new challenges such as students can’t go into each other’s rooms, and they can’t hang out with friends like they did previously. Classes have shifted to a hybrid format, adding to an already demanding year. Guenther said, “Online learning has been a major challenge. It’s difficult to sit behind a screen to learn. One day you are online, the next day you are in person.” Since many clubs have stopped meeting, Layden is no longer able to participate in Judo and choir.

Both women had advice for other females pursuing STEM majors. Guenther said, “You shouldn’t focus on what anyone says you can or can’t do.” Layden said, “A lot of times, you’re going to be the only woman in the room, and you have to own that and be proud of that. It’s going to be really intimidating at times. Remind yourself that you are here for yourself. You’re doing great things, you’re going to do a great job. Stay on track, set realistic goals, and work towards them.”

The WID Palmetto Chapter’s STEM Scholarship is an annual award for women attending South Carolina colleges or universities pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Two annual scholarships of up to $2,500 are available, one of which is reserved for a veteran/member of the military/ROTC participant. Scholarship awards are made according to financial need, academic achievement, faculty recommendation, recognition and honors, activities, and personal essay.

The WID Palmetto Chapter, based in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded March 13, 2009. Their goal is to provide networking and professional development opportunities to promote advancement and recognition of women in national defense and security, to support military service members, and to encourage partnerships between the local contractor community and Department of Defense agencies.

For more information, please email chapter officers at https://widpalmettochapter.org/contact-us/.

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Two Citadel cadets earn Women in Defense scholarships https://today.citadel.edu/two-citadel-cadets-earn-women-in-defense-scholarships/ Fri, 28 Aug 2020 20:20:28 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18188 The Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter is pleased to announce Cadets Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther as the awardees of its 2020 STEM Scholarship.]]>

Note: The Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter awards two scholarships annually to women studying a STEM discipline; this year, Citadel cadets earned them both

From the Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter

The Women in Defense (WID) Palmetto Chapter is pleased to announce Lillian Layden and Catherine Guenther as the awardees of its 2020 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Scholarship.

Layden is a senior at The Citadel and a Computer Science and German double major with minors in Cybersecurity and Fine Arts. She is a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Layden is contracted through the U. S. Air Force and will be commissioned upon graduation.

Guenther is a sophomore at The Citadel. She is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the U.S. Air Force ROTC.

The WID Palmetto Chapter’s STEM Scholarship is an annual award for women attending South Carolina colleges or universities pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Two annual scholarships of up to $2,500 are available, one of which is reserved for a veteran/member of the military/ROTC participant. Scholarship awards are made according to financial need, academic achievement, faculty recommendation, recognition and honors, activities, and personal essay.

The WID Palmetto Chapter, based in Charleston, S.C., was founded March 13, 2009. Their goal is to provide networking and professional development opportunities to promote advancement and recognition of women in national defense and security, to support military service members, and to encourage partnerships between the local contractor community and Department of Defense agencies.

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