There was an unmistakable buzz at Hack the Port 22 as the first post lunch break speaker stood stage-right behind the podium.
Typically post lunch keynotes are generally sparsely attended, but a keynote on compliance and interagency-coordination proved an irresistible combination to a group media, industry and government attendees taking part in the hybrid Maritime and Control Systems Cybersecurity conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“The U.S. government, industry and academia, work together to defend the Nation against disruptive actions, mitigate cyber-attacks, and remain laser-focused on resiliency”, Dr. Diane M. Janosek, NSA’s Deputy Chief of Compliance, informed the audience. “With its dual cybersecurity and foreign intelligence missions, NSA ensures that it conducts its missions in the way that the American people expect us to do it: safely, ethically, and legally.”
Hack the Port 22, hosted jointly by USCYBERCOM and the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute, brought together subject matter experts from government, industry, and academia to highlight the nation’s critical infrastructure and cyber defense priorities.
In addition to a keynote by Dr. Janosek, the event raised awareness of cybersecurity threats in the maritime sector, and the ongoing U.S. government efforts to address and mitigate them and other cybersecurity challenges. The conference also provided an opportunity a reminder that the U.S. government is comprised of organizations separated by missions and functions — but united in defense of the Nation.
A critical component of our nation’s defense is educating and developing the cybersecurity talent for the next-generation cybersecurity workforce. Students in attendance were able to put their skillsets to the test in realistic cybersecurity scenarios.
Over the course of three days, over 200 students from NSA’s Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) designated schools and USCYBERCOM’s Academic Engagement Network tested the security of a fictional port. Armed with fictitious threat intelligence, students identified solutions and overcame obstacles as they either attacked or defend parts of a Fort Lauderdale port carrying U.S. government defense weapons.
The onsite NSA NCAE-C program management team also ensured that student participants received relevant career guidance, training, and the latest information about upcoming NCAE-Cyber Oprerations (CAE-CO) summer program internships.
“NSA has an obligation to ensure that the next generation of cyber defenders are the most creative, the most inclusive, the most diverse, the most collaborative, and the most professional people that there are,” Dr. Janosek said. “The training on display from students participating in Hack the Port22 exemplified this sentiment.”
NSA congratulates all of the students and U.S. government defenders who participated in Hack the Port 22. NSA proudly celebrates the first, second and third-place winning teams of the cybersecurity challenges: Northeastern University, Texas A&M University, and University of Maryland Global Campus.
NSA also commend the teams from Texas A&M University and Norwich University for finding previously unidentified cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Along with its partners, NSA thanks those who attended Hack the Port 22 and for being a part of “team cyber.”
NSA’s National Cryptologic School manages the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program. To learn more about the NCAE-C program (link): https://www.nsa.gov/Academics/Centers-of-Academic-Excellence/