MIT Sloan to host “Think Security” event focused on critical infrastructure cybersecurity


Student seminar will run in collaboration with Kaspersky Lab from Jan. 30-Feb. 3

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 26, 2017––The security of our cyber-physical infrastructure and IoT (Internet of Things) is a significant global issue. The computer-controlled facilities that produce and deliver things like our electric power, oil and natural gas, chemicals, water, and the buildings that collectively form the infrastructure of a safe and secure world civilization are dangerously exposed to cyber-threats. To teach students more about this critical area, MIT Sloan School of Management’s Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, otherwise known as (IC)3, is hosting a “Think Security” event in association with Kaspersky Academy. The week-long seminar will take place on campus during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) from January 30 to February 3.“IAP is an invaluable program for both students and faculty to learn from leading experts in a wide range of industries, and this year with Kaspersky Lab, we’re spotlighting an important issue that affects regions around the world,” says MIT Sloan Prof. Stuart Madnick, director of (IC)3. “The ‘Think Security’ seminar will test our students to think outside of the box and apply their knowledge to better protect society, a lesson extending far beyond the classroom.”

Clint Bodungen, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, notes, “Today’s critical infrastructure often runs on outdated technologies that date back nearly 30 years, meaning some of the largest cities’ utilities and sensitive systems are controlled by unsupported, vulnerable software. At the same time, cybercriminals’ attacks are growing in sophistication, creating a dangerous situation that students can help resolve. While lectures are beneficial, students gain the most understanding through hands-on activities, which is why we’re collaborating with MIT to bring critical infrastructure cybersecurity to the forefront at this year’s IAP.”

During the event, students will analyze industrial control systems (ICS), which are typically used in the electric, water, oil and gas industries, while taking a closer look at Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) that continue to plague organizations of all sizes and sectors. At the seminar, students will participate in both a Capture the Flag challenge and the Kaspersky Interactive Protection Simulation (KIPS Live) training, where participants will select suitable cybersecurity technologies for an industrial power plant and resolve specific implementation challenges.

The focus of “Think Security” follows the recent launch of Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT, a global computer emergency response team dedicated to securing industrial systems. Through the ICS-CERT project, Kaspersky Lab shares its cybersecurity expertise with industry stakeholders, which includes information on the latest threats, security incidents, mitigation strategies, incident response and compliance.

IAP is a special four-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month. For over four decades, IAP has provided members of the MIT community (students, faculty, staff, and alums) with a unique opportunity to organize, sponsor and participate in a wide variety of activities, including how-to sessions, forums, athletic endeavors, lecture series, films, tours, recitals and contests. During IAP, students are encouraged to set their own educational agendas, pursue independent projects, meet with faculty, or pursue many other options not possible during the semester.Additional information on the “Think Security” seminar can be found on the IAP website.

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