Attending the RSA® Conference (RSAC) is a coveted, career-building, right-of-passage for professionals in the cybersecurity field, and next week, three Georgia Tech students will be honored as “RSA®C Security Scholars” among an expected crowd of 45,000 in San Francisco.
Georgia Tech was one of just 20 universities nationwide invited to send three students to RSAC, courtesy of the conference. RSAC selected universities based upon the strength of their cybersecurity programs, and students were chosen by their schools. Attending from Georgia Tech are David Formby (Ph.D. ECE), Marie Le Pichon (Ph.D. CS), and Carter Yagemann (Ph.D. CS).
“It really is an honor to be chosen to represent Georgia Tech when we have so many great security students here doing amazing work,” says Formby, whose research under Prof. Raheem Beyah in the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering focuses on problems in industrial control systems, such as the power grid. “I'm hoping to learn something from all the brilliant speakers and fellow scholars that will inspire new and interesting directions in my research.”
The Institute for Information Security & Privacy invited students to apply to be chosen last fall. Students were evaluated based upon academic standing, demonstrated interest in cybersecurity, and voluntary participation in IISP learning activities, such as the weekly Cybersecurity Lecture Series and Fall Demo Day at the Georgia Tech Cyber Security Summit.
“This will be my first time attending RSAC so I'm very excited,” says Yagemann, whose background in mobile security ultimately led him toward researching systems and machine learning security under professors Wenke Lee and Taesoo Kim in the School of Computer Science. “Being able to attend as an RSAC Security Scholar makes it even better. Industry prioritizes security problems differently than academia… I believe security is one of the fields where academics need to work closest with industry; getting to see another perspective is a wonderful opportunity.”
Le Pichon said her focus will be on “information and good conversation” about privacy, law, and identity – all central to her doctoral focus on cybersecurity public policy under Annie Antón, chair of the School of Interactive Computing.
“Being selected as an RSAC Security Scholar not only affords me the opportunity to take advantage of this well of knowledge, but validates my work in the field of information security,” she says. “I believe that the fields of privacy, security, and compliance are inextricably intertwined, and this further confirms an openness on the part of the security community to work on these issues holistically.”
The scholars will receive priority seating at conference keynotes, enjoy a private dinner with industry leaders, and a state of the industry panel with information security professionals from defense, consulting and manufacturing. Formby will present and speak in the ransomware seminar track. Yagemann says he also will compete in a voluntary “capture the flag” hacking contest. Le Pichon says she will follow the Hackers and Threats track in addition to her area of research.
“With more than 500 sessions at RSAC, we hope the students will discover a new angle of cybersecurity outside of their current focus,” said Lee, co-director of the Institute for Information Security & Privacy. “This is a phenomenal opportunity at a diverse and popular event. Being a security scholar will help them stand out in the crowd.”
All students are invited to participate in cybersecurity activities at Georgia Tech to help them understand facets of the problem applicable to their future careers. To learn more, visit www.iisp.gatech.edu/events