Date(s) - 24 May 2012
1:10 PM - 2:00 PM
3043 ECpE Building Addition
Title: CIMoRE and ISSL: A Tale of Two Projects
Speaker: Julie A. Rursch – Postdoctoral Research Associate, Iowa State Electrical and Computer Engineering
Abstract: This presentation focuses on two projects currently in progress at Iowa State University. The first, the Critical Infrastructure Modeling and Response Environment (CIMoRE – pronounced “see more”) is a decision support tool that models critical infrastructure and assets in an interconnected IP network using real-time data. It is a unified framework that includes heterogeneous critical infrastructure components such as roads, bridges, rail systems, power grids, telephone systems, cyber networks, as well as their interdependencies and interactions. The homogeneous backplane used is an interconnected IP network model. All physical critical systems and their corresponding real-time physical data are transformed into IP network nodes, IP traffic, and node data which can be run on Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE – pronounced “ice age”) network test bed at ISU. When fully implemented, CIMoRE will provide emergency planners and first responders with resilient and flexible critical infrastructure evaluation in the face of non-recurrent, disruptive events.
The current stage of work focuses on the transformations of the physical critical systems to IP network topologies and their corresponding real-time physical data using the daily capacity of these nodes and representing that data as network traffic, reporting both frequency and volume. Likewise, each node’s tolerance to stress, saturation point and eventually loss is represented by a failing or failed network device with the traffic being rerouted to other devices. The IP network was selected for CIMoRE’s unifying backplane because IP modeling is a mature topic with well-defined rules for how traffic moves, what happens when nodes fail, how traffic gets rerouted and what happens when traffic has to slow down. When CIMoRE is fully developed, it will encompass all 18 national critical infrastructure sectors and allow for large-scale, distributed coordination and analysis during non-recurrent, disruptive threats and events. At the current time, it is being developed as a functioning prototype using three critical infrastructure sectors.
The second project included in this presentation is the Information Systems Security Laboratory (ISSL). ISSL is a security training, testing, and outreach laboratory to support business and industry. ISSL not only provides training for the IT security staff for companies, but also has separate offerings to address the issue of educating the corporate work force to be security literate. In addition to training, ISSL also conducts a wide array of security product testing and provides security regulation compliance assistance.
Speaker Bio: Julie A. Rursch received a B.S. degree in Applied Science from Western Illinois University ‘85, M.S. degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University ‘88, Ph.D. degree in Mass Communication from University of Wisconsin – Madison ’94 and is currently is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. She will graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering with a focus on Secure Computing. Her research includes a unique approach to critical infrastructure modeling which provides emergency planners and first responders with resilient and flexible critical infrastructure evaluation in the face of non-recurrent, disruptive events. Her approach creates a new paradigm for modeling critical infrastructure sectors, analyzing real-time physical data, and providing best fit mitigations to impending failures and responses.
In addition to her research area of information assurance and critical infrastructure modeling, Rursch has played an integral role at Iowa State University in developing and running the IT-Adventures high school outreach program. She has served as the Assistant Director since the program’s inception in 2007. IT-Adventures is dedicated to increasing interest in information technology among Iowa high school students using three content areas: cyber defense, robotics and game design programming. Currently, more than 400 high school students participate in the year-long, inquiry-based learning activities and attend the capstone competition each year. She has been instrumental in the development of the assessment and evaluation of the IT-Adventures program. Rursch earned the Iowa Technology Association Women of Innovation Award for her leadership with the IT-Adventures program and Rursch, Andy Luse and Doug Jacobson earned the IEEE Transactions on Education Best Paper Award in 2011 for their piece evaluating the first year of the program.
Rursch has a wide variety of teaching experience with cyber security. She has taught several short courses on network security, including a short course that was part of a National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service grant, to audiences ranging from internal auditors and security professionals to community college information technology (IT) instructors and community college students. She has also been part of the management team, as well as attacking teams, for cyber defense competitions and was the co-creator of the community college cyber defense competition outreach program.
Prior to returning to Iowa State University to earn her second Ph.D., Rursch was the Chief Information Officer for St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, and then a Senior IT Executive for CampusWorks, Inc., of Sarastota, FL. At CampusWorks, Inc., she provided management, supervision and technical support for networking, security and educational management systems for colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. She has also taught computer science courses such as programming, networking, security, and emerging technologies at St. Ambrose University and at Southeastern Community College.