Tech hosts cyber security workshop

June 29, 2009

by Eboni Jaggers

The Center for Secure Cyberspace (CSC), a joint effort of Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University hosted the second Annual Cyberspace Research Workshop, “Cyber Security in the 21st Century,” June 15, at the Shreveport Convention Center.

Brenda Brooks, local arrangement chair for the workshop, said cyberspace is the term given to any form of communication that can be transferred through computer data bases including e-mail, digital cable, credit card information, medical and pharmaceutical records and air navigation.

She said the workshop was created to bring together different entities of researchers and practitioners to educate the public on the various areas of available cyber safeguards.

According to the CSC Web site, cyberspace is a medium rampant with attackers. Due to the largely reactive mindset that governs many strategies designed to deal with the onslaught of attacks, governments and large organizations often find themselves in a defensive position to play “catch-up.”

“Cyber security has become a main issue for everyone, not only on the local level but also across the state and [in upper levels of government],” Brooks said. “The workshop gave [the speakers] the chance to show their work and discuss emerging technologies and ideas within the cyber security realm.”

She said she hopes the public found the workshop informative because she feels cyber security should be ranked a top concern amongst citizens across the globe.

“I [expect] that the public [walked away] understanding that cyber security is something to be concerned about,” Brooks said. “[I hope they gained] a better understanding about what we are doing and will hopefully join in the efforts.”

Vir Phoha, principle investigator for the CSC and an associate professor of computer science, said the workshop was also used as a platform to ponder the direction of cyberspace concept that is changing the way individuals think and defend.

“The first decade of the 21st century has provided the basis of fascinating new technologies that are merging in cyberspace,” Phoha said. “These technologies are changing the way we live and are bringing new challenges in security and privacy of information. The rapid changes in cyberspace have brought new [concerns], and how will these technologies shape cyberspace?”

Phoha said it was the seminar’s purpose to answer that question and to also research what social changes the answers will spawn.