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UMBC professor wins award in global cyber-security competition

UMBC professor Glenn Fiedelholtz won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computing Conference Award last summer.

Fiedelholtz, who teaches under the department of information systems, traveled to London to take part in the 2017 Computing Conference. The goal of the conference was to convene a high quality, well-attended and up-to-date conference on technology and research in computer science.

It was hosted by the IEEE, which is one of the world’s largest technical professional organization, and according to the IEEE mission statement, is “dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.” The conference sought to address, explore and exchange information on the state‐of‐the‐art in computer science, their modeling and simulation, design and use, applications and their impact. The conference featured a variety of  speakers who provided lectures, contributed papers and posters and gave tutorials on their fields of research.

“I think what is unique about [the competition] is that it’s a world wide competition, not just within the United States, but all of the submissions throughout the world,” Fiedelholtz said. “That’s kind of a big deal, so I think it looks good for UMBC to have that on their record.”

Fiedelholtz’s presentation depicted various types of cyber attacks and the standard process through which hackers commit cyber attacks and compromise data. What made Fiedelholtz’s presentation stand out was that it integrated a step by step process of how these attackers go about carrying out cyber attacks and applied that process to a diagram of the stages of a cyber attack. With cyber attacks being a constant threat, Fiedelholtz hopes that his presentation will help people understand how these systems are being compromised.

The professor was inspired to enter the competition after finding out that the textbook for the IS 430 class he teaches didn’t cover multiple different kinds of cyber attacks. “One of the ideas I had, since the textbooks didn’t really provide an integration network with the types of cyber attacks that occur, I decided to come up with my own diagram for it.”

Fiedelholtz has been working in jobs involving information systems for over 12 years, and he finds his line of work interesting and challenging due to the constantly changing and evolving conditions involved in information systems. To any students pursuing a career in information systems, Fiedelholtz’s advice is to “Read. Continue to read constantly and read every day. You need a baseline, and you’re getting a really good education at UMBC.”

“Beyond that, you have to innovate, and that’s hard to do.”