UB, FBI and ECC to Co-Host Cybersecurity Workshop

Buffalo is fast becoming a center for research, education and new practices in cybersecurity and computer forensics, according to the hosts of a workshop on these topics to be held March 31 in the Center for Tomorrow on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus…The invitation-only workshop, “Computer Forensics, Wireless Security, e-commerce Security and Security Infrastructure Development in the Academic and Business Environment” is being co-hosted by UB, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Erie Community College and the National Science Foundation.

It is designed to provide private companies and educational institutions in Western New York with background in the growing areas of computer security and forensics, with an eye toward helping organizations capitalize on Western New York’s emerging expertise in these fields.

UB is home to a Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE), certified by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a national center of excellence. The workshop is being coordinated by the UB center.

Later this spring, Buffalo will open the Western New York-Regional Computer Forensic Lab, (RCFL) funded by the FBI and one of only 13 in the U.S. The RCFL will be a full-service forensics laboratory dedicated to the science of digital evidence recovery.

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Workshop speakers include academics as well as members of local and federal law enforcement agencies. In particular, the workshop will focus on emerging security issues for wireless devices, an area of expertise for UB, which is conducting National Science Foundation-funded research on wireless security and developing a new teaching lab for related courses.

Other topics to be featured include an overview of the FBI’s Buffalo Cyber Task Force and InfraGard, an FBI-industry partnership for computer security issues, as well as local law enforcement perspectives on digital forensics and security for Web services.

“It’s beneficial from our perspective that the FBI can work with the university to combine skill sets and resources to edify the community,” said Supervisory Special Agent Paul Mark Moskal, from the Buffalo office of the FBI.

“There is still a growing need in companies and in government agencies for people who specialize in computer security,” added Shambhu Upadhyaya, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and engineering at UB and a member of the workshop organizing committee. “The idea here is to develop new initiatives and curricula at local colleges and universities so students start taking these courses and to inform local companies interested in branching out into the computer security field.”

Donna Kaputa, Ph.D., faculty member in ECC’s Department of Computer and Information Systems and an organizing committee member added, “ECC’s and other institutions’ experiences in developing information security curricula may prove valuable and informative to other two- and four-year colleges seeking similar program developments.”

E-commerce and a new field called “m-commerce,” performing e-commerce transactions with mobile devices, also will be discussed at the workshop.

“From government to manufacturing and medicine, knowledge of e-commerce is becoming critical in every knowledge domain and knowledge of e-commerce gives students a competitive edge in the marketplace,” said H. Raghav Rao, Ph.D., UB professor of management science and systems in the School of Management and a member of the organizing committee.

David Thomas, chief of the Computer Intrusion Section of the Cyber Division of the U.S. FBI, will give the keynote speech from 8:45-9:30 a.m.

Tim Clancy, project director of the U.S. House Committee on Science will give the keynote speech after lunch.

A workshop agenda is available at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/caeiae/joint-workshop2006/.

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