Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Congrats to the UWT GreyHat Huskies

The University of Washington Tacoma team of students representing the GreyHat Group here on the campus performed admirably at the third Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition held last weekend. The team, which also helped to prepare others for the event, came in second out of a group of outstanding competitors.

Pictured: The Director for the Center of Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, commands attention.

Congratulations and thanks should also be given to Don McLane (who also provided the pictures), Barbara Endicott-Popovsky (CIAC Chair) and faculty member Yan Bai (Assistant Professor who teaches Computer Networks,Network Management,Information Assurance, Computer and Network Security) for their work in preparing the students and participating in the event.

Here is the news from Grey Hat team member Parker Thompson:

Our team this year at PRCCDC worked really hard and came in second place beating every other team except UW seattle engineering! I would to thank all of our team members, those who observed the red team, Dr. Yan Bai, and everyone else who helped use make this a success. Our team members this year included myself on the email server and the router, Jesse Morgan for the first day on the router, Kimberly Harvey on the Website and Database, Teddy Vitro and Hai Nyguyen on client machines and as team mangers, Brain van on the internet machine, Aaron Offerdahl on the backtrack machine, and Robert Kesterson on the domain controller.

This student organization also helped the International Conference on E-Crime that was held late last year in Tacoma a success. Of course, as any hard working Institute of Technology student group would, they are already planning for more activities.

We have many exciting plans for the future of the club such as more collaboration with other teams (particularly the winning uw seattle team and devry), to continue to work to make our lab setup closer to the of the ccdc, and setting up a vpn into our lab setup so students at home and students at other schools can still use the lab network.

Thank you again to everyone,

Parker Thompson

Congratulations again, and good luck with building out an excellent lab space for future competitions.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Huskies Competing in the CCDC

Sure, you know that the Huskies are competing in the NCAA tournament, but once again they are also competing in the Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition as well.

The Grey Hat group, a collection of Institute of Technology Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Technology Systems students interested in cybersecurity, data integrity and information assurance, will be competing this weekend against other student teams of eight from a selection of universities and colleges from the Pacific Northwest. This includes Alaska, Idaho and Victoria University of Wellington.

Coached by Don McLane, the UWT team will not be crashing the boards but keeping others from crashing their servers. Dr. Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Director Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, will once again be on hand to cheer on the Purple and Gold (and everyone else competing, no doubt). Last year, the "evil red team" had a few of the alumni of the Grey Hats working for them, making it an especially difficult foe.

Some of the preparations for the event include a group of exercises put together by The UW Tacoma group, the Grey Hats, partially to prepare for the CCDC, and partly as a general Information Assurance introduction.

The winners of this regional competition will compete in the nationals with travel and lodging expenses paid.

Held previously at Fort Lewis and last year at the Microsoft Corporate Campus, this year's event will take place on the campus of Highline Community College.

Taken from the CCDC website:

In this competition, student teams are presented with a pre-configured systems of a fictitious company that they are tasked to operate. The evil red team, which sits next door, however, will attempt to vandalize and break into this network. The student teams need to defend against the attacks of this red team. In particular, the goals for each team are to:

- fulfill assigned business tasks (so-called injects)
- keep services operational
- prevent break-ins by the red team

Students are scored based on the goals above. The team with the most points of the two day event will be the winner of the 3rd Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and will proceed to the National competition.

Our objectives for this event are:
- Build a meaningful mechanism by which institutions of higher education may evaluate their programs.
- Provide an educational venue in which students are able to apply the theory and practical skills they have learned in their course work;
- Foster a spirit of teamwork, ethical behavior, and effective communication both within and across teams;
- Create interest and awareness among participating institutions and students.


The Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) provides institutions with an information assurance or computer security curriculum a controlled competitive environment to assess their student’s depth of understanding and operational competency in managing the challenges inherent in protecting an enterprise network infrastructure and business information systems.

The Organizing Committee are:

Barbara Endicott-Popovsky – CIAC Chair
Don McLane – UWIT Tacoma
Corrinne Sande — Whatcom Community College
Brian Hay – University of Alaska
Bob Bunge – DeVry University
Christian Seifert – Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Michelle Moore – Microsoft
Mike Acker - ISSA
Rick Davidson - University of Washington
Brady Bloxham - Idaho State University
Dwayne Williams – National CCDC Advisor

Check out this documentary about the first year of the event.

Go Dawgs!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Business Internet Services (BIS) - Company Profile Number 7

I have blogged about Topia Technologies and Skoot a few times over the years on my blog. What may not be known is that Janine Terrano, CEO of Topia, is also the CEO of Business Internet Services, a web development company which was established in Tacoma in 1996.

BIS has been a fixture in downtown Tacoma throughout the economic up and downs of the technology sector, all the while building websites, custom applications and tools, content management systems, extranets and intranets. They count over six hundred clients over that time, including recent launches of the EDB's (Economic Development Board for Tacoma - Pierce County), the Gig Harbor Cancer Care Center and Feed Commodities, a premier recycler of bakery by-products in the Pacific Northwest.

In January of this year they launched their Software as a Service (SaaS) business service, providing emerging products and applications for the small to medium-sized marketplace.

From their press release:

“Our ability now to offer SaaS products in a downloadable marketplace is just one more step to keeping our customers ahead of the curve on what used to be cost-prohibitive technology and applications,” says Terrano.

Services that their teams provide include, strategic consulting, project management, usability design, graphic design, software development, application testing, hosting and data reporting for their clients.

They also do mobile application development work for business.

Last time I walked around their hallways there were quite a few folks working there, but since some offices no doubt were Topia, I do not have an strong approximation of how many employees make up the company.

However, the web site does have a current listing for an entry level software developer with at least of years experience with .NET an SQL.

To keep up with what is happening there, they have a developer blog at http://biscminds.blogspot.com/

Note that it will not only give you information on the company, but provides some development advice as well.

Janine is also active on Twitter, where you can follow her at J9er. A good interview was done with her by the Tribune late last year.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Following the Job Hunt on Tweetajob

The managing recruiter for a large (to be unnamed) holding company of a technology icon was a guest speaker in my class yesterday. The topic was on effective ways to recruit and retain employees to a growing technology company. Michele has been to the class on several occasions during the last few years and always draws great questions and gives solid, valuable advice.

Because so many of the students come to me for direction on how to go about finding employment after they graduate, not only is the information pertinent to the business plan they are required to develop as part of the course, but it also is great guidance for when the students themselves are searching for employment.

One thing that surprises me on occasion is when a student, often who is getting ready to graduate in a quarter or so, comes into my office and starts with this question: Do I know of any job openings? I am not fond of this introductory question, because it arrives without any background information to go with it. Job openings where? What are you interested in doing? Where have you looked? What companies do you want to work for? What locations are manageable for you? What is your favorite color? (maybe not that).

I also hear on occasion a tone of disappointment that their search has gone of for weeks with no or only a couple of interviews. On digging, I find that they have submitted resumes online to only a handful of companies and that they are still waiting to hear back from them. A successful job hunt generally requires a more deliberate and sustained approach.

I am happy and pleased to be able to help where I can when they come to see me. The first thing I tell them to do is to take that large market of jobs that are available (there is a large market, but in down times they are sometimes harder to find) and narrow them down to a specific prospect pool. This is still several hundred companies to draw from. Then I ask them to make a list of the top ten companies from that prospect pool they are most interest in and do some research on them. Then they can apply if they remain interested. They should always have a number of companies they are interested in on that list, even when they have scheduled interviews with others. It should continually be populated as other choices are dropped from the list.

But that is not the point of this post.

They point is that Michele gave a simple suggestion that made a great deal of sense to me. Once you have established the companies with which you think you would like to work for...

Follow them on Twitter.

In fact, if you are looking now, immediately create a List on Twitter and start following you personal list of companies. You may hear of job openings from the tweets, you will gather intelligence on the companies you are interested in and you will get a feel for how they are regarded by their employees and customers.

There is another site that you should look into. Tweetajob.

What is Tweetajob?

Tweetajob is a web based platform that interacts with Twitter, allowing recruiters to efficiently tweet jobs. Because our site allows jobseekers to specify location and career interest, you only receive those job tweets that interest you. Jobseekers can elect to receive job postings via Twitter feed, through the Tweetajob search engine or via mobile devices, according to personal preferences. Recruiters pay to post their jobs to Tweetajob.

There are a number of sites and services out there, from Craigslist to Monster.com.

With the two suggestions above, there is another online tool to add to your arsenal in the hunt for a job.

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...