Cyber Talk Radio: What’s New at the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security

Bret Piatt, CTR Host, and Dr. Greg White, director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) - Episode 159 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, October 12, episode 159 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Dr. Greg White, director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), to discuss cybersecurity education and the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards Organization.

We start off the episode discussing the Cyber Threat Defender card game that teaches skills to students — and Cyber Talk Radio has pledged 100 decks out to SAISD students! Dr white was one of our first guests on CTR in 2016. Greg has been at UTSA since 2001, and was the first full-time hire for cybersecurity to start the CIAS — he’s now got 1,000 people working there! UTSA is also one of only 10 schools in the entire nation to have all three NSA designations, and the university has had immeasurable impact on the San Antonio community. The new National Security Collaboration Center is currently located on their main campus while its new facility is being built downtown as we speak. It will be a unique collaboration of the university, public and private sectors — it currently has 48 partners. UTSA really is one of the best places for cybersecurity education opportunities! One of Greg’s class assignments is to plan a Russian political information warfare campaign for the 2020 election — it’s important to think like the attackers to better keep them away. Another way Greg is aiding in cybersecurity education is with the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), which started as a seminar in 2014, where they decided unanimously that cyber exercises from the military should be applied in all universities. Five years later, UTSA is now running the competition with four other Texas schools and 10 schools are participating.

After the break, we talk election security — and it turns out that Greg worked in that industry and is a big proponent of having a second physical copy of voting records. Greg also tells me about the national level security exercise run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has chosen to make this year’s cybersecurity attack. The whole point of it is to run a simulation and test emergency protocols and capabilities to see how the nation would be able to respond in case something similar really did happen. Greg and his team are creating a game that will help people who want to participate in the exercise.

Before the episode ends, we discuss the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards Organization for keeping people, their businesses, local industries and communities updated on information important for the security of financial organizations. Communication is essential and leads to more active collaboration and prevention of cyberattacks. When counties and cities begin talking to each other is when repeat criminals can get stopped and caught! Forming geographic ISAOs allow communities share with other communities and prevent harm.

Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about Greg’s work at UTSA and beyond.

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