National Security Agency researcher visits NDSU

National Security Agency researcher visits NDSU


A cybersecurity researcher from the U.S. National Security Agency recently visited campus to present on Integrated adaptive cyber defense to NDSU students, faculty and staff. Others from the region – including other colleges, universities and area businesses – also were invited and attended the presentation.

Integrated adaptive cyber defense techniques seek to automate the cyberattack response process by preparing components of the network and systems to identify and take protective action with humans acting as approvers, as opposed to responders.  The proposed technique is a collaboration between the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.  A representative from John Hopkins also attended and presented on the topic.

“It’s great that administrators from the National Security Agency, who coordinate the integrated adaptive cyber defense program have recognized our initiative and advancements in cybersecurity education and research,” said Kendall E. Nygard, computer science department chair. “Their visit was obviously very successful, as evidenced by participation by faculty from regional universities, as well as many of our own faculty and students.”

The NSA and JHU staff kicked their visit off with a lunch meeting discussing possible collaborations. They then made a presentation to faculty, staff and professionals from area businesses. Next, they met with a group of selected cybersecurity graduate students. Lastly, they presented to a packed room of students on integrated adaptive cyber defense and the NSA.

“Visits like this one are an excellent opportunity for students to learn about technical topics, as well as to explore possible career opportunities with aspirational employers like the National Security Agency,” said NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research associate director Jeremy Straub. “As the only North Dakota-based National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research, we are able to provide these types of unique experiences to our students and opportunities for collaboration for faculty and research staff.”

The visit was coordinated through the North Dakota University System office by assistant chief information officer Jerry Rostad. The visitors also visited one other university, the NDUS offices and the state capitol.

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