Department of cyber and computer sciences – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:22:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Department of cyber and computer sciences – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 SC National Guard trains with The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute https://today.citadel.edu/sc-national-guard-trains-with-the-citadel-department-of-defense-cyber-institute/ https://today.citadel.edu/sc-national-guard-trains-with-the-citadel-department-of-defense-cyber-institute/#comments Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:09:36 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24866 Members of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber InstuteMembers of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Instute"The opportunity to partner in training our South Carolina National Guard soldiers builds the state's cyber workforce capacity."]]> Members of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber InstuteMembers of the SC National Guard pose for a group photo with members of The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Instute

By Col. Linda Reidel, USA, deputy director of operations and outreach for The Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Institute

Members of the South Carolina National Guard are among the first groups outside to be trained by The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute.

The Institute launched its inaugural ten-day Cyber Boot Camp this summer, with 28 soldiers attending the grant-funded, cyber leadership development program.

“The Citadel has always been a part of the South Carolina National Guard family. The opportunity to partner in training our soldiers builds the state’s cyber workforce capacity,” said Col. Linda Riedel, USA, The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute deputy director of operations and outreach. “When you train a National Guard soldier, you are also training the civilian workforce and ultimately the community.”

Overseen and directed by The Citadel’s cyber programs’ founder and director of the Institute, Shankar Banik, Ph.D., the soldiers studied two primary subject areas: Security+ and cyber Penetration Testing+. The soldier-students learned intermediate security concepts and how to conduct cyber penetration tests to enhance an enterprise’s cybersecurity program. 

“The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute exists because there is a critical shortage of qualified cyber professionals within the Department of Defense, in both the military and civilian service areas,” said Banik. “Serving the South Carolina National Guard supports our three mission goals which include helping sustain a cyber-ready workforce, enhancing the nation’s cyber talent, and establishing a top talent management program.”

Banik hopes to work more with the state’s National Guard soldiers in the future.

“It was an exciting two weeks. There was a good exchange of knowledge connected to examples of real-world applications,” said Torry Crass, one of the instructors. Crass is the Chief Information Security Officer for the North Carolina Board of Elections.

A student in the boot camp, Maj. Latasha O’Neil, works fulltime for the South Carolina National Guard. She is an electronic maintenance supervisor at the McCrady Training Center which is located at Ft. Jackson near Columbia. O’Neil has a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management. “The training through in the Institute’s program is both rigorous and rewarding,” said O’Neil.

The soldiers also made use of The Citadel’s new Cyber Lab, equipped with NetLab+ and VMware vCloud Director program framework allowing training to enhance cyber-competency skills. Going forward, the Cyber Lab will be used to train Citadel cadets and students in Network+, Security+, Certified Ethical Hacking, Forensics, Palo Alto Firewall, and VMware vSphere.

South Carolina National Guardsmen take part in the National Guard Cyber Bootcamp hosted by The Citadel Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber institute (CDCI) in Thompson Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday June 17, 2021.

At the end of the training, the soldiers were able to test to qualify for certification from the CompTIA Sec+.  CompTIA Security+ certification is a global certification exam that validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career.

“This training will make me more aware of what threats are out there and how to not become a victim,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Butler. Butler works as a fraud investigator for Wells Fargo in his civilian capacity. 

The Citadel and the nation’s other five Senior Military Colleges received approximately $1.5 million of federal money each to establish cybersecurity institutes as pilot programs on their campus. The funds are part of a $10 million Dept. of Defense appropriation to the National Security Agency for these institutes included in the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act .

The Citadel has been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security since 2016.

South Carolina National Guardsmen pose for a group portrait during the National Guard Cyber Bootcamp hosted by The Citadel Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber institute (CDCI) in Thompson Hall at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday June 17, 2021.

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Joppatowne graduate Madison Matos hopes to aim high with Air Force following college at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/joppatowne-graduate-madison-matos-hopes-to-aim-high-with-air-force-following-college-at-the-citadel/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24601 "I really found a love to be in the Air Force," she said. "I kind of wanted to branch out; I wanted to do something different."]]>

As seen in Yahoo News, by James Whitlow

Joppatowne High School’s Madison Matos just walked across the stage to receive her diploma on Tuesday, but she already has eyes on what’s to come after her college graduation — following her passion for flight into the Air Force.

Matos, 18, plans to enroll at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, South Carolina. Though the college offers civilian tracks for its graduates, and military conscription is not mandatory, Matos wants to join the college’s ROTC and the Air Force after her graduation there.

She plans to study computer science and wants to focus on space and terrestrial flight after college. She has always found space flight interesting and wants to apply herself to it.

“I really found a love to be in the Air Force,” she said. “I kind of wanted to branch out; I wanted to do something different.”

Matos’ graduating class was on the small side — around 160, she said — and many students had been classmates since middle school. Seeing familiar faces, she said, was a highlight of high school that she knows will soon change when she is eight hours away from the familiar and required to wear a uniform at The Citadel.

“This is like a very, very, very different college,” Matos said with a laugh. “My first day, I think I have to run two miles.”

But she thinks the most difficult part of attending college and leaving high school behind will “probably be not seeing anyone I have been seeing for the last 10 years of my life,” she said.

Matos looks back fondly on her high school experience, but there were challenges to overcome before she took the stage and was handed her diploma. She was a serious soccer player, but the long practice hours and injuries made keeping up with her schoolwork a challenge.

So, in her junior year, she stopped playing soccer and committed to hitting the books, earning a 4.0 GPA every quarter since, along with scholarships.

Her drive and determination is what her mother, Anita Matos, said she is most proud of. Her daughter has been a determined athlete and student, through multiple concussions and injuries, and her next step to college is a culmination of Madison’s hard work.

“She will keep at it, that’s how I know she’s going to be successful at The Citadel,” Anita Matos said.

Madison Matos’ senior year has been thrown askew because of COVID-19, as have many of her classmates, but she said the walk across the stage was well worth it — the next step she has aspired to for a long time.

“I literally have been talking about this day since eighth grade,” she said. “I did it.”

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The Citadel faces West Point, Annapolis and other military schools in NSA cyber challenge https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-faces-west-point-annapolis-and-other-military-schools-in-nsa-cyber-challenge/ Fri, 09 Apr 2021 13:43:23 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=23289 The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided“NSA has an incentive to ensure the nation has a competent cyber-smart workforce,” she added.]]> The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/ProvidedThe Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

Photo above: The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency which pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. Cadets began the first day with several virtual challenges. The Citadel/Provided

The Citadel began a three-day competition on April 8 hosted by the National Security Agency that pits the country’s military colleges and service academies against each other in intense cyber security simulations. 

The NSA’s National Cyber Exercise allows future service members and cadets to experience real-life examples of digital problems the military faces. This marks the first year The Citadel has been invited to compete for the title and trophy. 

At least 36 cadets are participating in the event. It involves exercises on forensics, cyber policy, cryptography and reverse engineering, and ends with a real-world defense challenge where they have to detect and protect a network system from hackers. 

The events take place over the course of three days and range anywhere from eight to 12 hours in length. 

“Through NCX, NSA helps to educate, train and test the cyber skills of U.S. service academy cadets and midshipmen, as well as teams from the senior military colleges and select NSA employees,” Diane Janosek, commandant of NSA’s National Cryptologic School, said in a statement. 

“NSA has an incentive to ensure the nation has a competent cyber-smart workforce,” she added.

In recent years, the U.S. military and the federal government have put more emphasis on training young service members to combat increasing cyber threats from terrorists and other countries. 

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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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Closing the cyber workforce gap: the first Citadel Dept. of Defense Cyber Institute team at work https://today.citadel.edu/closing-the-cyber-workforce-gap-the-first-citadel-dept-of-defense-cyber-institute-team-at-work/ https://today.citadel.edu/closing-the-cyber-workforce-gap-the-first-citadel-dept-of-defense-cyber-institute-team-at-work/#comments Wed, 10 Mar 2021 15:52:09 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=22554 First cohort of students for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber InstituteFirst cohort of students for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute"I believe that through this program and the leaders who are sharing their knowledge with us, I will be more than equipped for the cybersecurity world when I graduate.]]> First cohort of students for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber InstituteFirst cohort of students for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute

The first group of cadets and students selected to study under the umbrella of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) is hard at work, with the goal of being immediately ready to join America’s cybersecurity workforce after graduation. The cluster of future cyber warriors includes one active duty Marine student, one veteran student, and 19 cadets.

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 program will help expand America’s cyber capability by addressing the critical national security need for a larger cybersecurity workforce.

All of the CDCI participants are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations, or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with a minor in Cybersecurity, or, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Data Science.

Among the students is Cadet Trey Stevens, a junior with a triple major in Computer Science, Cyber Operations and Intelligence and Security Studies. “I feel very fortunate that I’ve been selected to not only advance my own cyber education, but to be better prepared for the agency that I work with post-graduation so that I may perform my job as best as I can,” Stevens said. “This is a unique opportunity where professionals and experts are pouring in their knowledge in order to pave the path for future cybersecurity professionals. I’m planning on maximizing my engagement with this amazing program.”

The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) cadets and students being led by Lt. Col Linda Riedel, SCARNG, and Dr. Shankar Banik, professor of computer science and cyber operations, and director of CDCI and numerous other programs at The Citadel.

The Citadel and the nation’s other five Senior Military Colleges (SMC) have each received approximately $1.5 million of federal money to establish a cybersecurity institute as pilot programs on their campus. The funds are part of a $10 million Department of Defense (DOD) appropriation to the National Security Agency (NSA) for these institutes, included in the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

“It is an honor to be selected for such a program,” said Cadet Jalen Singleton, a junior Computer Science major with a minor in Cybersecurity. “I am included in an extremely talented cohort that has been given access to top cybersecurity knowledge and tools. I believe that through this program and the leaders who are sharing their knowledge with us, I will be more than equipped for the cybersecurity world when I graduate.”

The Department of Defense outlined three priorities for the SMC institutes: sustain a cyber-ready workforce, enhance the nation’s cyber talent and establish a top talent management program. The Citadel is helping achieve these goals.

“Being a part of CDCI is already an amazing experience,” said Cadet Hannah Collee. She is a sophomore double-majoring in Computer Science and Cyber Operations. “There is hands-on learning and countless opportunities for growth. This program helps students get in contact with numerous businesses and internships too. I can’t wait to continue with our team.” 

The 21 cadets and students selected to participate in the college’s first CDCI cohort include:

All, Jackson A.
Collee, Hannah E.
Deans, Conor W.
Freeman, Lydia S.
Hanulcik, Avery
Jensen, William M.
Johnson, Jared M.
Lilling, Eric R.
Lindenmeyer, Andrew R.
Ling, Nathanael C.
Race, Benjamin R
Reynolds, Aaron G.
Roser, Robert G.
Ruiz, Ashley
Singleton, Jalen A.
Skibicki, Ryan
Smiles, Shiloh O.
Stevens, Trey J.
Toomer, Timothy C.
Wells, Noah M.
Whitlock, Benjamin T.

Prospective cadets and students wanting more information should email dhoward2@citadel.edu or call (843) 953-1089.

The Citadel is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, as named by the United States Department of National Security Agency and Homeland Security.

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Department of Defense funds $1.465 million for cybersecurity education at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/department-of-defense-funds-1-465-million-for-cybersecurity-education-at-the-citadel/ Mon, 25 Jan 2021 19:00:37 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21580 Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 2018Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 201820 cadets selected annually for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute Photo above: Former Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats meets with cadets and students studying cyber security and]]> Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 2018Former Director of National IntelliCyber Security Conference, Department of National Intelligence, Daniel Coat having lunch with cadets during The Citadel intelligence and Cyber Security Conference in 2018

20 cadets selected annually for The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute

Photo above: Former Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats meets with cadets and students studying cyber security and intelligence at The Citadel in 2018.

The Citadel and the nation’s five other Senior Military Colleges (SMC) are all developing aligned, Department of Defense Cybersecurity Institutes, funded by the federal government. The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute and the other SMC cyber institutes will address the critical national security need for a larger cybersecurity workforce.

The SMCs are federally appointed military colleges offering higher education combined with required military training in the form of Reserve Officers Training Corps Programs or ROTC. Unlike the Federal Services Academies such as the U.S. Air Force Academy, many graduates of SMCs go into military service, but it is not required. The Citadel is only one of two SMCs that continues to offer a full, 24/7 military structure for its on campus, undergraduate population.

Each of the SMCs was awarded approximately $1.5 million in 2020 to form pilot cyber institutes, intended to grow the number of highly trained cybersecurity professionals serving America. The funds, included in the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act, are part of a $10 million Department of Defense appropriation to the National Security Agency (NSA) for the SMC-based institutes.

Computer Networks class led by Professor Shankar M. Banik in Thompson Hall at The Citadel, February 11, 2020

“There is a critical shortage of qualified cyber professionals within the Department of Defense, both military and civilian, “said Cyber and Computer Science professor Shankar Banik, Ph.D., a co-director of The Citadel Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies. “More than 500,000 cybersecurity jobs are open nationally. The objective of The Citadel Department of Defense Institute is to provide leaders who are experts in cybersecurity and have the skills and real world experience to join the cyber workforce immediately after graduation.

Banik says within The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute there is a new Cyber Leaders Development Program (CLDP).  Each year, 20 cadets will be selected for CLDP and provided with stipends and specialized training. They can pursue a major in Cyber Operations, or a major in Computer Science, with a minor in Cybersecurity, or a major in Computer Science with a minor in Data Science.

“I am so pleased to partner with the Senior Military Colleges to initiate the Department of Defense Cyber Institute pilot program” said Diane M. Janosek, the commandant of NSA’s National Cryptologic School. “The Nation’s focus and investment in these six elite institutions is a key element in the expansion of the talent pipeline. These graduating cybersecurity professionals will go on to serve either on Active duty or in the National Guard or Reserves as service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines or as Department of Defense civilians.”

Objectives of The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute:

  • Develop principled leaders with a cybersecurity skillset who’ll be able to join the cybersecurity workforce on “day one” after graduation
  • Establish a Cyber Lab to provide the type of training required by the Department of Defense
  • Organize cybersecurity summer camps for K-12 teachers and students, creating a pipeline for the cybersecurity workforce
  • Develop and organize cybersecurity boot camps for the South Carolina National Guard
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities to cadets through cyber competitions, internships and outreach activities
  • Encourage talented students to pursue academic programs in cybersecurity, with priority given to women and underrepresented minority students to increase the diversity in the cybersecurity workforce
  • Provide professional development opportunities for cyber faculty
  • Create cybersecurity awareness by organizing a Cybersecurity Day in the month of October (National Cybersecurity Awareness Month).

“With The Citadel’s mission laser-focused on building principled leaders, and with the significant investment by the Department of Defense, our partnership with the other Senior Military Colleges stands to return enormous gains as we prepare the next generation of outstanding graduates skilled in executing cyber defense,” said Darin T. Zimmerman, Ph.D., dean of the Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics. 

The Citadel has been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security since 2016.

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National Cyber Range Complex Charleston and NIWC Atlantic fosters collaboration through Cybersecurity Simulation Exercises https://today.citadel.edu/national-cyber-range-complex-charleston-and-niwc-atlantic-fosters-collaboration-through-cybersecurity-simulation-exercises/ Fri, 08 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=21310 Thirty-five teams competed in 48-hour time slots to find hidden clues and virtual flags by hacking into mock computer systems. ]]>

Note: For more information on The Citadel’s Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations, click here.

As seen on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Hub, by Kris Patterson

The National Cyber Range Complex (NCRC) Charleston, located at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, recently hosted teams of cybersecurity professionals to compete and hone their cybersecurity skills in the NCRC Cyber Red Zone Capture the Flag (CTF) competition.

Based loosely on the outdoor “capture the flag” game, as well as the board game, “Battleship,” this year’s Cyber Red Zone CTF event was given a maritime twist. During CTF, 35 teams competed in 48-hour time slots to find hidden clues and virtual flags by hacking into mock computer systems. In order to accommodate all the teams of cybersecurity professionals from across the Department of Defense, as well as the three collegiate Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) teams, the NCRC held 11 sessions from early October to mid-November with four teams competing concurrently in each session.

The NCRC Charleston hosted two teams in October with participants from The Citadel’s Cybersecurity Team, as well the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA). Although NIWC Atlantic cybersecurity professionals have previously participated in past National Cyber Range CTFs, this was the first year NCRC Charleston hosted any teams.

“By learning how to thwart an attack, or better yet, seeing how an attacker attacks, it helps cybersecurity professionals design better defenses, which ultimately protects your information and mine,” said Jeff King, NCRC Charleston director.

For the CTF, the flags were assigned point values based on difficulty and each team worked under the pressure of time limits to accumulate points, said Scott West, NCRC Charleston lead event director. The teams with the most points won in their respective event.

During the NCRC Cyber Red Zone CTF, cadets from The Citadel used their offensive cybersecurity skills to compromise modern wireless networks and web applications. During the event, cadets also researched specialized embedded real time operating systems and communications standards commonly used on marine vessels for navigation and engine operations.

As part of the event, West said that the cadets learned new lessons and techniques while solving several of the competition’s more complex challenges.

“We had to learn a lot of protocols, a lot of new skills,” said Citadel Cadet Shiloh Smiles. “We had to apply things used in other areas here in ways that are difficult. I was just trying my best to get information and do some damage.”

Cadets that competed in the NCRC Cyber Red Zone CTF are also recipients of either the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarship for Service (SFS) or the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP).

“These cadets will go on to spend at least three years working for the United States government as cyber professionals, so CTF training really helps to prepare them for future tasks,” said West.

The Citadel cadets expressed their appreciation for participating in the CTF at NCRC Charleston as a chance to reinforce classroom training.

“I don’t think anywhere else could have provided an actual experience like this for us.” said Smiles. “I’m really thankful that I was able to have this opportunity.”

The NCRC CTF event offered a similar experience for Marine Corps cyber professionals to practice and sharpen skills in a realistic training environment.

“Members of the MCOTEA team use these types of events to maintain proficiency,” said King. “MCOTEA is the independent operational Test & Evaluation authority for the Marine Corps and is responsible for the operational and cyber testing of products that NIWC Atlantic builds prior to them going to warfighters.”

While the networks and systems in the CTF are simulated, the technology represented is common to many of the systems actively being developed, tested, and fielded across the DoD, said West.

“Serial-based protocols used in the CTF are actively used in U.S Navy vessels and Marine Corps vehicles,” said West. “These type of events provide those vulnerability assessment analysts with tools and realistic challenges needed to identify deployments and determine potential mission impact to assess risk to interconnected mission-critical systems.”

NCRCs conduct cyberspace testing, training and mission rehearsal/preparation events for the full spectrum of DoD customers including those involved in research, development, acquisition, testing, training and operations. The NCRC Charleston supports a wide variety of event types including science and technology demonstrations, developmental test & evaluation, operational test & evaluation, security controls assessments, cyberspace operations training, cyberspace tactics, techniques procedures development, forensics/malware analysis, and cyberspace operations mission rehearsal/preparation.

The Charleston facility is one of two OSD R&E resourced Navy cyber test and training range facilities, with NCRC Patuxent River as the second facility.

Read more about The Citadel Cyber Operations initiatives

Future federal cyber warriors selected for Citadel’s CyberCorps program

Women’s History Month: Meet Cadet Lilly Layden, working to increase the number of women in military cyber operations

The Citadel launches bachelors degree to train America’s future ‘cyber warriors’

Citadel to create a South Carolina CyberCorps with $2.8 million grant

Senior military colleges aim to fill gaps in cyber skills for the Defense Department

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Introducing nine new Swain School of Science and Mathematics professors https://today.citadel.edu/introducing-nine-new-swain-school-of-science-and-mathematics-professors/ https://today.citadel.edu/introducing-nine-new-swain-school-of-science-and-mathematics-professors/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:02:09 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17822 ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,The Swain School of Science and Mathematics welcomes nine new faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.]]> ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,ouis Brems - The Citadel 2017-18 SY, Math Lab, Mobius Shapes, Classroom, Rigo Flores,

Above Photo: Citadel Mathematics professor, Dr. Rigoberto Florez, teaching a class in 2018

The Swain School of Science and Mathematics is comprised of seven departments: Biology, Chemistry, Cyber and Computer Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Mathematical Sciences Nursing and Physics.

Under the leadership of Dean Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D., the school has more than 50 tenured/tenure-track faculty and about 425 cadet majors. The school also offers 15 master’s degree level programs and certificates (non-cadet), as part of The Citadel Graduate College.

The Swain School of Science and Mathematics welcomes nine new faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Department of Chemistry

Robert Granger, Ph.D., professor and department head

Granger is an inorganic/analytical chemist with a background in laser spectroscopy and electrochemistry and joins The Citadel as the new head for the Department of Chemistry. He is the lead author of a nationally bestselling textbook on Instrumental Analysis (Oxford University Press).

Granger’s research interests include transition metal chemotherapeutic drug design and the study of electrocatalysis as it pertains to carbon-carbon bond formation (i.e. artificial photosynthesis). He holds a Ph.D. in Analytical/Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University.

Read more about Granger here.

Megan Moyer, Ph.D.

With prior experience teaching chemistry at Carthage College, and as a teacher’s assistant at Colorado School of Mines, Moyer has taught General Chemistry 1 and 2 with associated labs. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and holds Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines.

Moyer has a history of volunteerism including for summer STEM camps for girls. Moyer was awarded Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Chemistry (2018) and Catalysis Symposium Top Presenter (2018).

Read more about Moyer here.

Department of Cyber and Computer Sciences

Computer Science class taught by Dr. Michael Verdicchio, 2017

Prosenjit Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Chatterjee holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro. His specialization includes computer vision, deep learning, neural networks, data analytics, data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Chatterjee’s research centers on human face, iris based biometric authentication, and behavioral biometrics-based authentication.

Chatterjee has almost six years of teaching experience in different organizations and institutions and more than eight years of industry experience in software industry. He worked as a senior software engineer, database administrator, quality assurance team lead, and business enabler with the world’s leading banking and financial sectors such as Credit Suisse, Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM), and Wells Fargo. Chatterjee was the senior developer in the insurance vertical giant MetLife, John Hancock.

Department of Physics

Scott Curtis, III, Ph.D., John Lining Professor of Physics
Director for the Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., ’77, Center for Climate Studies

Curtis joins The Citadel as the director for the new Lt. Col. James B. Near Jr., ’77, Center for Climate Studies. The center is under development, and was recently named for Near, who passed away in March of 2020, an alumnus, veteran and physics professor.

Curtis joins The Citadel from East Carolina University (ECU), in North Carolina, where he was titled Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics. During his time at ECU he acquired close to $1.4 million in grants and fellowships. Additionally, Curtis has authored more than 150 books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles and scientific white papers for presentations. He is engaged frequently to speak around the nation on issues including climate change, coastal water hazards and flooding. Curtis has participated as an editor for five scientific journals.

Curtis’s research centers on tropical climate variability with an emphasis on precipitation and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He earned a Ph.D. and a Master of Science, both in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, from the University of Wisconsin. Some of his distinctions include named Center for Sustainability Outstanding Affiliate Faculty Member from ECU, and the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers Research Award.

Kaelyn Leake, Ph.D.

Leake holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering Science and Physics from Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Prior to joining The Citadel, Leake taught Dynamics and Kinematics, Electrical Circuits, Modern Electronic Technology, How it Works, Designing a Sustainable Future, and Properties of Materials at Sweet Briar.

Leake has received several awards, including Outstanding TA Award, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013-2014, and the QB3 Keck Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2009-2010.

Read more about Leake here.

Hank Yochum, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head

Yochum joins The Citadel as professor and Physics Department head from Sweet Briar Collage where he worked for 18 years as a professor. He was also as associate dean for Academic Affairs, and the director for The Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program, which was ABET accredited.

Prior to becoming a professor, Yochum was an engineer with Lucent Technologies/OFS Specialty Photonics. His research interests include matter physics and nanotechnology, including nano structured optical devices.

Yochum earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Wake Forrest University in 1999. He returns to Charleston, working not far from his alma mater, The College of Charleston, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Cadets in a Math lab working on Mobius strips, in 2018.

Jeff Lyons, Ph.D.

Lyons teaching expertise ranges from College Algebra, Pre-calculus, Trigonometry and Calculus to Applied Engineering Math and Differential Equations. He joins The Citadel following visiting professorships at Trinity University and University of Hawaii. Before that he was a professor at Nova Southeastern University.

Some of Lyons publications include An Application of the Layered Compression-Expansion Fixed Point Theorem to a Fractional Boundary Value Problem (2019) in the Panamerican Mathematical Journal, and Two Point Fractional Boundary Value Problems with a Fractional Boundary Condition (2018) in the Fractional Calculus and Applied Analysis. He participated as a presenter in a virtual conference in 2020 for the Recent Advances in Differential and Difference Equations and Their Applications.

Lyons earned his Ph.D. in 2011 from Baylor University, where he also earned a Master and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

Swain Department of Nursing

Holly Donahue, instructor

PHoto of Holly Donahue, a nursing instructor at The Citadel.

Donahue is originally from LaGrange, Georgia and now resides in the Charleston area. She is a graduate of Columbus State University where she earned her Master in Science degree with a major in Nursing Education in 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from LaGrange College in 2015.

Before joining the Swain Department of Nursing, she served as the emergency department clinical educator at Trident Medical Center for the last year and a half. As a relatively new nurse educator, she is enthusiastic and passionate about nursing education and looking forward to contributing to the growth of the nursing department and future generation of nursing leaders.

Leonora Horton, Ph.D.

Horton is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where she earned a Ph.D. in Nursing/Clinical Research. Her Master of Science degree was obtained from Columbia University NYC with a major in Nurse-Midwifery.

Horton has been practicing clinically for more than 35 years. She was a nurse-midwife for 30 years in which time she has held both administrative and faculty roles for MUSC. Her teaching experience includes the education of students of nursing, nurse-midwifery, physician assistants, and medical students as well as first and second year OB/GYN residents. She was the immediate past Nurse Midwifery program director at MUSC.

In addition, Norton the held the position of Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Director for South University Online as an associate professor. Her teaching expertise for South University included Research Methods, Women’s Health, Organization and Systems Leadership Nursing, DNP Field Experiences, and DNP Scholarly Project Courses.

Some of Horton’s achievements include the 2011 and 2012 Golden Lamp Teaching Award and the 2010 Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award.

Read more about Horton here.

Ctiadel cadet nursing majors learning from Dr. James Pelletier in simulation lab
Citadel cadet nursing majors learning from Dr. James Pelletier in simulation lab in 2019



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