Cyber Round Up: DOE and MIT Sloan Partner Up for Grid Security, DoD Needs to Focus its Hiring Efforts, USCG RDML Thomas on Port Security

  • MIT Sloan and DOE Cyber Initiative (PR Newswire): The U.S. Department of Energy announced a $34 million initiative aimed at improving the U.S. grid, oil, and natural gas infrastructure from cyber threats, according to an article in PR Newswire.  The article states that MIT’s Sloan School of Management Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (IC³) will receive $3.5 million as part of this DOE program.  Furthermore, the article indicates that the University of Illinois Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium (CREDC), which is comprised of 11 national laboratories and universities (including IC³), is being awarded $22.5 million as part of this initiative.  According to the article, Prof. Stuart Madnick (the director of IC³) believes that we are facing a worldwide crisis in the context of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure.  The article indicates that some of the key projects being planned are:
  • the development of baselines and models that organizations can leverage for cyber-risk analysis, increased protection, and ROI calculations;
  • the application of lessons learned from “accident” prevention research to help prevent cybersecurity failures;
  • table-top exercises: simulation and modeling of cybersecurity resilience;
  • how to incentivize stakeholders to encourage effective information sharing; and
  • assessing and increasing C-suite adoption of and commitment to cybersecurity efforts.

The full text of the article can be found here. Previous blog coverage can also be found at this location.

  • The DoD Needs to Focus Cyber Hiring Efforts on Quality vs. Quantity (Task & Purpose): This article discusses U.S. hiring efforts for cyber professionals within the DoD and draws the analogy that this is like installing an elaborate security system and then leaving your front door unlocked.  In a world with finite resources the article also raises an interesting point concerning the impact to private organizations that are also competing for scarce cyber resources.  The article goes on to say that strengthening our cyber resolve through cyber professionals is only addressing part of the problem and that more needs to be done with respect to training users in safe cyber practices.  Finally the article points out that traditional theories of motivation may be outdated and the U.S. should consider focusing on the following: purpose, patriotism, and personal growth.  Private sector companies have taken a number of steps to boost employee morale; however the article acknowledges that salaries will at least have to be “fair” in order for recruitment to work.  The full text of the article appears here.
  • Update: USCG Testifies regarding Port Cyber Security (  This written testimony is from United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral (RDML) Paul Thomas, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, and was submitted to the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Border & Maritime Security Sub-committee.  In the testimony, RDML Thomas iterates that the USCG recently proposed three strategic priorities:
    1. defending USCG cyberspace;
    2. enabling Coast Guard operations;
    3. protecting critical maritime infrastructure.

To effectuate this, the USCG plans to look at the big picture using the term “cyber risk management” which also examines how the maritime transportation system (MTS) is reliant upon information technology systems to work within the global supply chain, according to the testimony.  RDML Thomas’ testimony also asserts that the USCG is looking at both cyberattacks and cyber accidents and developing an understanding of how to plan for and mitigate each.  This testimony indicates that the USCG is working with DHS as well as other government agencies to help identify cyber risks in the maritime industry.  The full text of the testimony can be found here; and for a discussion of the GAO report on Port security, see this previous post.


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One Response to “Cyber Round Up: DOE and MIT Sloan Partner Up for Grid Security, DoD Needs to Focus its Hiring Efforts, USCG RDML Thomas on Port Security”

  1. […] to the report.  We have previously discussed the U.S. infrastructure in a number of posts, Grid Security, U.S. Grid Cyber Vulnerabilities, Nuclear Power Plants Culture of Denial.  The full text of the […]

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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