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June 9, 2009
On June 10, Professor Sy Goodman, joint with the School of Computer Science and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, briefed the U.S. House of Representatives' Science and Technology Committee and Research and Science Education Subcommittee during its hearing on "Cyber Security R&D."
Goodman, who serves as co-Director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy (CISTP), warned of a coming "tsunami" of cybersecurity issues fueled by rapidly proliferating networked devices such as mobile phones. Some 3.5 billion people worldwide—more than half of global population—now use mobile phones, Goodman said, and within five to 10 years most of those will be conducting sensitive personal and professional business through their mobile devices. This presents a tremendous opportunity for "malicious actors" to turn their attention from desktop and laptop vulnerabilities to mobile devices.
In part to combat this threat, Goodman called for the education and training of a workforce that is better versed in cyber-security. As a model, he cited the NSF's Scholarship for Service Program, which provides financial aid to U.S. citizens at universities with academic programs in cyber-security, in exchange for the pledge to work for the government post-graduation. Funded at about $10 million per year, the program has placed nearly 1,000 professionals (mostly master's degree-level) from 34 universities in government positions since 2003.