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"Westchester County Business Journal" featured Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems Dean Jonathan Hill 's piece "Keeping Pace: Health care cybersecurity is a battle we can’t afford to lose"

10/31/2019

"Westchester County Business Journal" featured Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems Dean Jonathan Hill's piece "Keeping Pace: Health care cybersecurity is a battle we can’t afford to lose"

If personally identifiable data (PID) is at risk of theft from hackers, no PID is more sensitive, and potentially more valuable on the Dark Web (the online black market where stolen credit card details and Social Security numbers are for sale), than your health care records.

Your health care records not only contain data on the personal details of your body. They include your home and financial information, too. It is little wonder, then, that hackers are working overtime to steal access to health care PID, and that health care providers and cybersecurity experts are intensely focused on stopping them.

In 2018, health care was the second-most-attacked industry, behind government. IBM’s Cyber Security Intelligence Index estimated that more than 100 million records were compromised in recent years, costing the sector $6.2 billion.

This trend shows few signs of ending and the security sector is in an arms race with cybercriminals.

“The industry is starting to change, but health care is still lagging,” Jennings Aske, senior vice president and chief information security officer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said at Pace University’s recent cybersecurity conference. “You’re seeing health care organizations take security more seriously, which is the way it should be.”

Aske noted that hospitals routinely face ransomware attacks, which essentially try to hold a hospital’s or a doctor’s data hostage until a ransom is paid, thereby interrupting service and potentially putting patients’ lives at risk. But ransomware attacks are just one kind of threat. There are many other sophisticated operations that include lost or stolen equipment and data as well as hacking attacks on life-saving medical devices.

While hospitals and medical groups are often targets, so too are smaller businesses, which tend to be the most vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 58% of malware attacks were on small businesses and that, in 2017, cyberattacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2.2 million, forcing roughly 60% of small businesses to close their doors within six months of an attack.

Some of the biggest threats facing digital security are driven by the technical skills and sophistication of hackers, many of whom are part of organized crime groups or nation-state actors. In many scenarios, they are well-funded, disciplined and trained to exploit our defenses and system vulnerabilities.

That is why developing the necessary problem-solving skills to cope with the scale and enormity of our challenges is crucial, as is understanding the complexity of the security and the financial motivation of cybercriminals.

There is much work to do to shift our culture and defensive practices. Similar to searching for new cures and treatments for disease, we must come up with ways to protect ourselves preemptively rather than reactively. We need a concerted effort on the part of government, national security, health care institutions and universities to effectively fight the problem.

We must take responsibility for following the basic steps to protect our computers, tablets, cellphones and other devices from these hackers.

Cyber safety is an essential component of our national security and the safety of our personal data.

It’s a neverending struggle and one we cannot afford to lose. The health and safety of our society is at stake.

Read the Westchester County Business Journal article.

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"CIO Dive" featured Seidenberg School of CSIS professor Darren Hayes in "The forgotten ones: Ransomware preys on the resource-poor"

10/17/2019

"CIO Dive" featured Seidenberg School of CSIS professor Darren Hayes in "The forgotten ones: Ransomware preys on the resource-poor"

Cornered by ransomware

Less than a week after it was attacked, DCH paid hackers an undisclosed amount because it had to.

"You don't have a choice. All your files are encrypted," Darren Hayes, assistant professor at Seidenberg School of CSIS at PACE University, told CIO Dive. "If your files are locked, the only way of continuing your business is to pay the ransom."

Backed into a corner, smaller entities largely act in an "everyone for themselves" protocol with a dreaded sense of urgency, according to Hayes. And public school districts are low-hanging fruit for hackers.

Students of Souderton area school district in Lansdale, Pennsylvania were instructed to power down school-issued devices and return them last month. District personnel shut down the district-wide computer network to prevent more damage, according to updates from the district (PDF).

Computer screens in the Cherry Hill school district in New Jersey displayed the word "Ryuk," a common ransomware family credited for attacking at least five education organizations earlier this year. Ryuk is often proceeded by Emotet and Trickbot trojans, according to Armor.

Delaying student education, while harmful, isn't as dangerous as hospitals unable to service patients.

Read the full article.

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"News12" featured Seidenberg's Cybersecurity Conference in "Pace University's Cybersecurity Day features K-9 demo"

10/04/2019

"News12" featured Dean Hill and Seidenberg's Cybersecurity Conference in "Pace University's Cybersecurity Day features K-9 demo"

A cybersecurity conference at Pace University focusing on the health care industry included a demonstration from a special K-9 guest.

Harley, a 4-year-old yellow Lab, is an electronics storage detection K-9 with the Westchester County Police Department. She's done some serious digging: sniffing out technology in the homes of alleged terrorists and cyber hackers, even the former attorney to President Donald Trump and now convicted felon, Michael Cohen.

"She can find anything with electronic memory," says Brett Hochron with Westchester County police. 

Hochron says a K-9 like Harley can find these devices no matter how small they are, and much quicker than humans can.

"Cyber criminals have become incredibly sophisticated in their phishing ability," said Jonathan Hill, dean of Seidenberg School of CSIS at Pace University.

Watch the News12 clip.

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Media Advisory: Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems Welcome Delegation from Africa to Highlight Growing Opportunities in Technology and Business

09/23/2019

MEDIA ADVISORY: Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems Welcome Delegation from Africa to Highlight Growing Opportunities in Technology and Business

Dignitaries and Companies Representing Mauritius, Nigeria and Senegal and the United States African Development Foundation to Speak

NEW YORK (September 23) – Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) to host “Opportunities in Africa,” a full-day event which brings together companies and organizations from the African diaspora including job seekers, entrepreneurs and investors interested in the region. Pace partnered with Wutiko, an online platform that connects people to business opportunities including job recruitment, business growth, and job certification in Africa. The event will feature panels on Mauritius, Senegal, and Nigeria. This will be a side event during the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.

WHO:

Amadou Hott, Senegalese Minister In Charge of Economy, Planning International Cooperation Studies, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Papa Amadou Sarr, Senegalese Minister in charge of Délégation à l'Entrepreneuriat Rapide (DER)

C.D. Glin, President of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF)

Sobel Aziz Ngom, Board Member of UN Generation Unlimited

Teju Abisoye, Acting Executive Secretary at Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

Nousrath Bugheloo, Partner at Ocorian Mauritius

WHAT:

Pace University to host an “Opportunities in Africa” event with foreign dignitaries

from Mauritius, Nigeria and Senegal and the United States African Development Foundation

WHEN:

Friday, September 27, 2019 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

WHERE:

Pace University, One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038, entrance at 3 Spruce Street (Between Park Row and Gold Street) Schimmel Theatre and Bianco Room, B-Level

MEDIA RSVP:

Barin Masoud, Bmasoud@pace.edu, (646627-3505

EVENT RSVP:

https://events.wutiko.com/opportunities-in-africa/new-york-2019

About the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University

At Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, students experience the best of IT education at one of the first comprehensive schools of computing in the nation. Strategically located in the heart of NYC’s tech scene, the Seidenberg School places students on the doorstep of New York’s most promising companies, whether they are established tech giants or exciting new startups. Through partnerships with leading corporations, banks, federal agencies, and global entities, the School's curricula and programs are designed to give students the latest in computer science theory and invaluable hands-on practice to ground it. The faculty includes numerous cybersecurity experts who operate labs and centers providing students with practical experience and connections that lead to impressive internships and jobs.

About Pace University: Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains. www.pace.edu

About Wutiko: Launched in 2015, Wutiko is a Pan-African platform connecting people to opportunities online, with regular offices in Mauritius, Nigeria and Senegal. www.wutiko.com

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Press Release: Pace University Students Compete in Non-Profit Web Design Class

12/14/2018

Press Release: Pace University Students Compete in Non-Profit Web Design Class

Final web designs help non-profits fulfill their community missions

Six teams of Pace University students competed this week to benefit three Westchester non-profit organizations as part of a unique course that combines web development skills with community service.

The course was developed and is taught by Pauline Mosley, DPS, a professor of Information Technology at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, and it is focused on designing websites to help non-profits better serve their communities. The class, started in 2004, has designed more than 50 websites for schools, arts organizations, government and other non-profits that provide important services to their communities.

Mosley said this semester’s class did an extraordinary job capturing the essence, vision and mission of each non-profit.

“For the students to be able to program these websites to have the functionality for donations is critical for these non-for-profits, not only in terms of surviving and sustaining the next couple of years, but also thriving and being competitive long term,” she said.

Students from Pace’s CIS 102W Web Design for Non-Profit Organizations presented their final designs on December 10 to the non-profit clients they had been working with for the past 10 weeks. This year, the three participating not-for-profit organizations were G.O.O.D. for Girls, Inc. in Tarrytown, The Family Resource Center in Peekskill and The Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services.

Each organization was referred to Mosley’s course at Pace by Mary Ann Luna, VP for Community Alliances at the United Way of Westchester and Putnam. Luna said the collaboration between Pace University students and local non-profits is an excellent way to give the students real life experience. “Not only do the teams learn about the non-profits and what they are doing in the community, but also integrate the skills that they are learning into something that is such an amazing provision of service - it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Joanna Plakopitas, a Pace team leader and resident of Eastchester, said she enjoyed working with The Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services to organize their website. “Putting everything clearly in one place is vital for both the senior citizens who depend on these services as well as those partaking in caring for Westchester’s senior community.”

Colette Phipps, Program Coordinator for Research and Development for the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services which runs the website, said she has had a longstanding relationship with Mosley’s class, which had developed the department’s first website.

“Throughout the years this program has been an invaluable resource for community-based organizations like ours,’’ Phipps said.

Mosley said that the course was in keeping with Pace’s philosophy of preparing students for their careers with real-world experience. In addition to learning technical skills like HTML coding, students learn about team work, communication and project management all while working with real clients.

“As opposed to creating a website that is hypothetical, here students are getting to see first-hand best practices,’’ she said. “These are not things that I could not teach them if I was teaching them a traditional curriculum.”

She added that the course can also provide a pathway to employment as in some cases clients have hired students as consultants to continue work on the websites.

Mosley said that she is looking for additional funding from outside sources to help expand the program and help non-profits after the course ends. “We have a unique model here that is of benefit to students and non-profits.”

Ojonugwa ‘Victory’ Oji, another Pace project leader and resident of Mount Vernon, said he had fun competing, and was especially appreciative of the skills he learned in Professor Mosley’s class. Oji’s team of five students was among winners of the competition. Their website was chosen by the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services as the one that that captured their mission, vision, and essence the best.

The other winning project leaders were Xio Chen with the winning website for Good for Girls and Stephen Lasko for The Family Resource Center of Peekskill.

Having to interact with clients, negotiate a product and deal with the stress of having a project completed on time and according the clients’ needs, is a valuable skill that Oji said he will take away as he enters the workforce. “Above all, I am grateful and thankful because - for us students - it wasn’t about winning but learning.”

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranks Pace University first in the nation among four-year private institutions for upward economic mobility. www.pace.edu

Follow us on Twitter at @PaceUnews or on our website: https://www.pace.edu/news

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Press Release: Pace University’s Second Annual CyberStorm Conference Uncovers Major Threats and Opportunities in Cybersecurity

10/11/2018

Press Release: Pace University’s Second Annual CyberStorm Conference Uncovers Major Threats and Opportunities in Cybersecurity

Among Distinguished Speakers were Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and NYS Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino

New York (October 11, 2018)— Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems brought together leaders from the private and public sectors to tackle some of the biggest issues facing cybersecurity on October 11th. The event, called “Cyberstorm 2.0: The Depth of the Threat,” is in its second year. This past year, data breaches have touched U.S. power grids, universities, banks, airlines, credit agencies and even the most seemingly impregnable systems.

Dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School, Jonathan H. Hill, DPS, said some of the biggest threats facing digital security today include organization, sophistication, and technical skills. “Hackers today are often part of organized crime groups or nation-state actors. In both cases, they’re well-funded, disciplined, and trained to exploit systems vulnerabilities. Their hacking activities have increased in sophistication and they are still able to surprise even the most erudite computer users. We are preparing our students to out-skill and out-think them.”

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson and Roger L. Parrino Sr., Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) delivered the keynote address this year. “Whether it is our elections infrastructure, businesses, social media platforms, or your home computer, it is imperative that government, higher learning institutions, and the private sector work together to protect against nefarious cyber intrusion,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. “This conference, hosted by Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, a leader and innovator in the field of cyber security research and education, is crucial to ensuring we prepare the next generation of cyber leaders to keep us safe,” he added.

“I am very pleased to see so many Pace students and faculty interested in cybersecurity.  This must be a national priority,” said Secretary Johnson.

Students in the computer science programs at Pace University are being equipped with the techniques used to protect vulnerable data: “Application level encryption, which is essentially protecting data within the app so you can use your phone on the train or in the airport and have some peace of mind that it’s not being picked up by people who could copy your data or password or other personally identifiable information,” said Hill. Privacy management tools are being developed to keep information safe.  

​Looking towards the future, Hill said that it is prudent to stay one step ahead of the threats: “Hacking methods adapt in the face of new technological barriers. We train our students to think like a hacker and anticipate the workarounds that hackers may develop to subvert the latest security tools.”

The event is part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Hill said that while cyberattacks are inevitable, this type of event will give attendees the inside scoop on how to thwart attacks: “It’s this knowledge that gives us a deeper understanding of what the hackers are doing and allows us to develop tools and techniques that anticipate the hackers’ next move.“

Among the panelists were members of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the NYPD, A.I.G., Moody’s Corporation and other business leaders.

About the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University

At Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, students experience the best of IT education at one of the first comprehensive schools of computing in the nation. Strategically located in the heart of NYC’s tech scene, the Seidenberg School places students on the doorstep of New York’s most promising companies, whether they are established tech giants or exciting new startups. Through partnerships with leading corporations, banks, federal agencies, and global entities, the School's curricula and programs are designed to give students the latest in computer science theory and invaluable hands-on practice to ground it. The faculty includes numerous cybersecurity experts who operate labs and centers providing students with practical experience and connections that lead to impressive internships and jobs.

About Pace University
Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project finds that Pace graduates are out-earning their parents and peers, bucking a nationwide trend for millennialswww.pace.edu.