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Panel 5

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Training the Next Generation of Maritime Cyber Warriors

Moderator: Mr. Scott Blough, Mandiant

The cyber threats to the maritime environment are increasing in scope and magnitude while the talent stream struggles to keep up. This panel will address some of the innovative ways in which the next generation of cyber warriors are being prepared by expanding experiential learning through directed practical experience. Included with the panel will be an overview of a Department of Energy program called CyberForce®, an annual, weekend long competition between teams of college students who play the role of attackers and defenders of a simulated energy infrastructure. In addition, the panel will delve into successful programs, both past and present, to identify common key concepts to inform the future training of the Maritime Cyber Warriors.

Constantine Macris, Instructor Cyber Systems, United States Coast Guard Academy

During my time at the US Coast Guard Academy, it was clear that professional mariners and guardians did not have any hands-on training opportunities with maritime-based communications technologies. Unlike automobile SAE CAN networks vessels ISO/NMEA based networks are usually not something the general public has access to thus "tinkering" has been limited to a privileged few with devices, normally owners of yachts. These networks are also often modified after construction as sensors and human interface devices change introducing an interesting nexus of systems that few have an understanding of that are deemed plug and play. Adding to this combination is the desire to have data fed off the local bus to cloud other assets. My work is to make this technology more available for the cadets at the US Coast Guard Academy as well as making tooling and resources for low-cost devices to learn the technology.  

Dr. Kevin Jones, Executive Dean, University of Plymouth

The vessels, infrastructure and people that facilitate international maritime supply chains, on which 90-plus percent of the world trade and economic security depends, rely on an unusually disparate, sometimes dated, and increasingly autonomous collection of information and operational technology (IT&OT).

Cyber-SHIP Lab’s research is focused on building cyber threat resilience in this uniquely complex, valuable, and vulnerable sector. Cyber-SHIP platform provides hands on experience in determining physical systems’ key vulnerabilities to a range of cyber-attacks. It enables development and demonstration of safeguards at technical, system and operational levels. This is a world-first capability that empowers our researchers and industry partners to improve global shipping security.

Dr. Harry Cooper, Professor of Cybersecurity, American Public University System

Moving beyond traditional methods of instruction (reading, lectures, tests) to interactive, hands-on, and project-based instruction is crucial to the successful education of future cybersecurity professionals. Strategies and examples of successful real-world and hands-on learning projects will be presented for both in-person and online learning venues.

Bane Adkins, Information Security Analyst II at Defense Contractor

Providing experiential hands-on learning for future cyber security professionals is the key element to improving the cyber security posture of the United States. During the presentation, I’ll discuss how experiential opportunities, internships, and competitions such as the Maritime Risk Symposium’s Student Poster Competition and capture the flag events allowed me to better prepare for and be successful in my career.

Darren Rogers, Cybersecurity Researcher, The Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School has a research lab called the Engineering Enclave for Maritime Security (EEMS Lab). NPS Students and investigators conduct hands-on cybersecurity research on commercial maritime information systems and protocols. Previous research has highlighted various attack vectors that exist in legacy RF and data communications protocols found in maritime environments. Future maritime systems will continue to become increasingly networked and leverage next generation wireless communications which will add attack surfaces. Cybersecurity will have to be continuously integrated and addressed. 

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