University Assembles Mission Assurance Experts at Cybersecurity Workshop

 The workshop was attended by representatives from the National Security Agency, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, as well as the U.S. military, academia, and industry.

August 22, 2019

Cyberattacks happen every day. From Equifax to Facebook, even the biggest companies struggle to protect our data, and they often fail to do so. But breaches that expose personal and financial data are only part of the problem. There are cybersecurity systems around the world that protect people’s very lives.

This August, Syracuse University hosted its second annual Enduring Assurance Workshop. The three-day, invitation-only meeting convened a team of experts who are devoted to thwarting attacks on the systems that military and intelligence agencies rely on to carry out their missions safely and effectively. Attendees included representatives from the National Security Agency, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, as well as the U.S. military, academia, and industry.

A collaboration between the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA), the theme of this year’s workshop was “Making Mission Assurance a Reality.” The attendees addressed cybersecurity risks to U.S. Department of Defense missions; the architectural, functional and security requirements that impact data flows; securing the U.S. Air Force’s software-centric electronic warfare operations; and mission assurance and security by design.

“I am proud to say that the majority of people who attended are either Syracuse alumni who are now working in government, industry or academia, or cyber experts who we have collaborated with extensively,” said Professor Shiu-Kai Chin. “Each participant is invited because they are grounded in both the theory and practice of mission assurance, risk management, and cybersecurity.”

“The OVMA is proud to support this important cybersecurity work which offers significant value to our country’s national security,” said Ron Novack, Executive Director of the OVMA. “This initiative aligns well with the University’s commitment to serve veterans and speaks to the authority and caliber of the University as a recognized leader in this emerging field.”

Cybersecurity is a “wicked problem”—a problem that is unstructured, open-ended, systemic, multi-dimensional, and operates in an evolving environment. By bringing leading cyber experts in this crucial field together, the University further establishes its reputation as a leader in cybersecurity and military affairs.

“Together, we are working to ensure that truly trustworthy systems are conceived, designed, tested, verified and operated and that all stakeholders’ needs are addressed,” said Chin. “We’re protecting those who protect us.”