Student Security Symposium a Success

student presenters at the information assurance student symposium
Student presenters at the 3rd Information Assurance Student Symposium. (L-R) Karthik Raman, Michael Dao, Krenar Komoni, Michael Ryan, Brenda LaBarge, Alex Iliev and Peter Chapin.

The 3rd Annual Information Assurance Student Symposium (3AIASS) at Norwich University took place on April 20, 2005. Sponsored by the Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) online graduate program, the Symposium featured four Norwich undergraduate students and three students from nearby institutions.

The conference was ably introduced by Professor David Westerman, a noted geologist from Norwich, who spoke eloquently about the value, importance and joy of research in the undergraduate experience.

Dr. Westerman was followed by Norwich student Michael Dao, who presented a review of the balance between physical security and usability. Mr Dao's work was based in part on his personal experience working in industry.

Karthik RamanKarthik Raman of Norwich presented a novel approach to visualization and "sonorization" of network attack signatures. His demonstrations included "music" generated by hamsters!

Norwich student Michael Ryan discussed a variety of legal and policy issues surrounding the use of honeypots -- computer systems and networks designed to trick criminal hackers into attacking them so that Good Guys can monitor their activity and methods.

Krenar KomoniNorwich Engineering student Krenar Komoni gave an overview of classification and security issues in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems being used in classes run by Professors Stephen Fitzhugh and Donald Lessard as models for their students' studies.

LTC David Ward presented an overview of the generous information-assurance scholarships available from the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, and pointed out how well Norwich students have been doing in the fierce competition for these awards.

Peter Chapin of the University of Vermont then presented some of the graduate work he has been doing on distributed authorization methods -- more efficient ways of authorizing people and computers to have access to restricted resources and functions than those currently available.

Alexander Iliev of Dartmouth College spoke on his doctoral dissertation research in the field of two-party computation systems -- methods for establishing trusted collaboration without having to exchange highly confidential information over insecure communications channels.

Finally, Brenda LaBarge of Champlain College gave a thorough discussion of the legal constraints on law enforcement officials trying to seize and extract information from electronic pagers at the time of arrest.

Prof. KabayAccording to Symposium organizer Professor Mich Kabay, each presentation was followed by an animated question and answer discussion.

"It was very exciting to see the audience so engaged," said Kabay. "It was clear that everyone involved came away with a very positive and extremely valuable learning experience."

As a direct result of the popularity of this series, faculty members from all the institutions are collaborating to arrange another student colloquium for the fall term. Professor Kabay promises to involve Norwich students in the new colloquium as well as to continue with the 4AIASS next spring.