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News
CIRI interns 
 
 
Allie Arp, CSL

Each year the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners with its University Centers of Excellence to offer college faculty and students from Minority Serving Institutions the opportunity to gain experience with DHS research and build the future pool of scientists. This year, two Summer Research Teams, each consisting of a faculty member and two students, were welcomed to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus by the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI). Read more about their experience or watch the video.

 
 
 
Earthquake damage 
 
 
USC CAIS

Bistra Dilkina, associate director of USC Center for Artificial Intellidence in Society, received a grant from CIRI to develop new AI initiatives for disaster planning and relief, which could aid cities in responding effectively to situations such as the recent Ridgecrest earthquakes in southern California. Read more of their coverage.

 
 
 
Events
 CIRI director Randy Sandone leads a panel on election security
 
CIRI attends DHS Centers of Excellence Summit

CIRI leaders and researchers were in DC recently for the DHS Centers of Excellence Summit. At the Summit, COEs presented their research, showcased several CIRI-developed products including the Dashboard, and networked with each other and representatives from industry and government.

CIRI leadership was also involved with several of the sessions. Executive Director Randy Sandone moderated two panels: “Cyber Soft Targets” (during the Grey Zone Threats session) and “Infrastructure Threats” (during the Homeland Security Challenges in a Highly Networked World session). CIRI collaborators such as Wayne “Jake” Carson from USTRANSCOM and Tom Karygiannis of Kryptowire participated in the panels.  The CIRI DHS Summer Research Team students also attended the Summit and participated in the Student Poster Competition.

 
 
 
 Black Hat USA Conference
 
Black Hat USA 2019

CIRI was at Black Hat USA 2019 last week in Las Vegas with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). As part of our efforts, CIRI presented about the Cyber Secure Dashboard, a software tool that helps prime contractors understand and implement the NIST cybersecurity standards within their supply chains.

Attendees of Black Hat, the most technical and relevant information security event series in the world, have access to the very latest information  in security research, development, and trends. These meetings are attended by the best minds in the industy including professionals at all career levels, encouraging growth and collaboration among academia, world-class researchers, and leaders in the public and private sectors. CIRI's presence allows us to remain at the forefront of the cybersecurity research field, and be recognized as a leader in these efforts.

 
 
 
 CIRI's Trinity Reed receiving her award at the Summit Grand Challenge
 
Summit Grand Challenge

At the COE Summit, CIRI summer research students participated in the Grand Challenge, which was to design methods to counter possible threats to the homeland from UAVs. CIRI's Trinity Reed of Southern University and A&M College - Baton Rouge, LA was on the first place team, "Automated Drone Integrated Information System" (ADIIS).

In addition, CIRI Senior Program Manager Andrea Whitesell mentored the second place team, with its proposed project, “Drone-Based MIR Laser Induced Thermal Imaging for Identification of Chemical Substances.”

 
 
 
CIRI Day at the Coast Guard

In July, CIRI traveled to U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to meet with Coast Guard officials regarding CIRI research and possible collaboration opportunities. Researchers showcased projects that tackled significant issues ranging from humanitarian assistance/disaster recovery (HADR) efforts to port security.

 
 
 
Around CIRI
Participants of Cyper Patriots Camp 
 
CIRI-sponsored camp hosts future cybersecurity professionals
In a collaboration with the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering at Illinois, CIRI, among other units within The Grainger College of Engineering, hosted a CyberPatriot Camp August 5-9 to introduce them to concepts and skills of cyber safety and security with an emphasis on fun and hands-on learning.
 
Campers, students in grades 7-9, learned about various cybersecurity strategies, tested their knowledge in a competition, and participated in an escape room as part of the experience. Check our social media pages for more information and pictures from the week!