DSU's premier security conference planned for next weekend
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
Dakota State University's third annual security conference will be held March 22-24 in Madison drawing a regional crowd and a wide range of national speakers.|
DakotaCon 2013 will feature speakers with a range of security-related topics on Friday and three all-day training sessions on Sunday. Saturday features the North Central Region Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Friday will also feature a meeting of the newly developed Industry Advisory Board.
This is the third year for the conference, but the first time it's been held in conjunction with the Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
"It really started out three years ago as something we wanted to do for our students," Conference organizer and DSU Associate Professor Josh Pauli said.
"We thought we'd bring a conference here and it mushroomed from there," he said. "We're trying to bring everyone together for one big weekend."
During the cyber defense competition students build, protect and maintain a realistic network and operations environment. This is the first nationally recognized competition that specifically focuses on the operational aspect of managing, securing, and defending a commercial network infrastructure. Participating teams will be required to demonstrate their ability to withstand and defend against real-time network security attacks. This is the fifth regional CCDC competition that DSU has hosted. The event is open to the public.
Presentations on Friday will feature nationally recognized cyber security speakers that include keynote speaker Rear Admiral Margaret DeLuca "Peg" Klein who is chief of staff for the United States Cyber Command.
Other cyber security sessions will be led by Mike Sikorski with Mandiant Labs; Eric Smith with Lares Consulting; Jeff Slocum and Mike Klein (DSU Alumnus) with South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications; Dr. Jared Demott with Harris Crucial Security; Dave Kennedy with TrustedSec; Justin Searle with UtiliSec; and Aaron Fields with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
Topics of discussion are the DSU Cyber Corps program, the Microsoft BlueHat conference, network defense on the state level and penetration and security testing in the electric utilities industry.
The Industry Advisory Board was created by representatives from DSU's cyber security programs, who developed the advisory board to help formulate and shape the university's cyber security Programs. The board is being created to help support the mission of the cyber security programs and build stronger relationships with the organizations that hire DSU students.
"We want to ensure we are producing the best employees possible for area employers, while providing better opportunities for internships and employment for our students," said Ashley Podhradsky, DSU assistant professor of information assurance/forensics.
Participants can chose from three day-long training sessions on Sunday. Registration is required. Cost is $300. Training runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"It speaks to the quality of the speakers," Pauli said. "They speak at the top level security conferences and will be in Madison Sunday."
Pauli said at other security conferences, these training sessions would come at a much higher cost.
"It really speaks to what they're willing to do," he said.
Sunday's training sessions feature Jared DeMott, principle security researcher for Harris Curicial Security; Justin Searle, managing partner of UtiliSec; and Dave Kennedy owner of TrustedSec, a world-class information security consulting company.
The three training sessions cover the topics of finding and exploiting security vulnerabilities; bypassing security defenses; and penetration testing for smart grid systems and SCADA.
While the conference has established a regional draw from students, alumni and information security professionals, Pauli said the speakers and training sessions are applicable to anyone, especially when the topic of discussion is how easy it is for viruses to bypass anitvirus scanning software.
"You don't have to be an information security person, hacker or in the technology industry," he said. "Currently a lot of the talks are applicable to all of us."
The event is sponsored by the Department of Defense, DSU's College of Business and Information Systems, DSU's Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, SDN Communications, Chenega Logistics, LLC and First Premier Bank.
More information on the conference can be found at www.dakotacon.org.