This summer the Cyber Operations, Analysis, and Research (COAR) team (coar.risc.anl.gov) had seven summer students from across the United States. Many of the interns this year were CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS)1 students that look to work at a government agency to repay the time their schooling was paid for.
This morning’s report that American Airlines grounded flights in Chicago, Miami, and Dallas/Ft Worth due to computer issues is just the latest in a string of computer glitches causing consequences in the physical world. In July, United Airlines was forced to ground many domestic flights after what was described as a “network connectivity issue”. In June, United again was forced to ground flights due to “automation issues”. Airlines increasingly rely on computer and network connected systems for their day to day operations and when these systems fail or networks become unreachable, the effects can cascade quickly. Cloud technologies are seen as a solution to availability problems in much of the IT world, but the potential consequences to using these types of systems in critical infrastructure, like airport ticketing, control, and automation systems can be serious and far reaching.
Our focus on the ongoing, ever-changing threats and attacks from outside our networks should not distract us from protecting against threats from within—especially the low-likelihood, but high-consequence, insider threat posed by privileged, trusted users. The recent National Security Agency (NSA) information leak incidents have prompted immediate focus on the topic of internal security. In these events, an employee with privileged access disclosed sensitive or classified data to the public without permission , prompting government and non-government organizations to review their internal security controls and reassess their effectiveness in protecting against insider threats.
The Risk and Infrastructure Science Center (RISC) researches, designs, and delivers scientific tools and methodologies to inform decision making regarding the most challenging security, risk, and resilience problems. Throughout the last two decades, RISC has completed major research efforts and developed unique tools to support local, state, and Federal sponsors in protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. RISC has developed unique research programs to protect the nation’s cyber-based infrastructure systems; conduct all-source threat analysis; and support emergency preparedness, transportation security, and crisis management in U.S. communities.
We are seeking an experienced cyber security analyst to analyze and research information and computer systems with a focus on assessing and documenting the risks cyber systems pose when used to support critical infrastructure.