Data Privacy Day 2019

Today is Data Privacy Day.  As discussed in, the annual event is an effort to promote data privacy awareness and education.  The US-CERT article has links to a host of resources which can help individuals become more aware of the importance of safe online practices.  While by no means an exhaustive list, consider the following the next time you pick up that smart device:

  • Be weary of email messages from businesses or organizations unknown to you expressing an unreasonable urgency to provide them your personal information.
  • Be aware of the information that you share about yourself in social media outlets.  Social posts never die.
  • Be aware that free anything is never free.  Many free apps comes with the cost of your personal information to download or use the app.
  • Speak with your children about the online games which they are playing.  Most of these games include the ability to converse and share information with other players.  These players may not be the individuals that they profess themselves to be.  Know who your kids are talking to.

I had the pleasure of speak with Logan @ News Talk 94.1 ( about the data privacy and simple steps that individuals can take to improve their personal security profile.  The article can be found at

Tennessee Tech CSAT Seminar 2018

Save Hours of Headache with Less Than an Hour of Attention: Tennessee Tech CyberSecurity Awareness and Training (CSAT) Seminar for TnTech Faculty and Staff
STEM Center auditorium, Tuesday, October 30 at 11— 12 p.m.
Derryberry Auditorium on Thursday, November 1  at 11— 12 p.m.
Please join us for the CyberSecurity Awareness and Training (CSAT) Seminar 2018 – an cybersecurity awareness event for faculty and staff of TnTech organized in the honor of National CyberSecurity Awareness month of October.  This Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) sponsored event is designed and presented by Tech Computer Science students.
An hour of your time with CSAT can save you HOURS of headache for you regarding cyber safety at home and work.
The seminar will be offered two different times and locations to accommodate the busy schedules of our faculty and staff.   The first will be at the STEM Center auditorium on Tuesday, October 30 at 11:00am; the second opportunity will be held at the Derryberry Auditorium on Thursday, November 1 at 11:00am.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

CEROC CPTC Team Places 2nd in Regionals!

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Eric Brown,, 931-372-3519

Cookeville, TN – The Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) at Tennessee Tech University is pleased to announce the 2nd place finish of the Tennessee Tech team at the 2018 Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition – Central Region held at Missouri University of Science and Technology October 5-7, 2018.  Dakota State took 1st place.  Among the other competitors in the field of six universities are Missouri University S&T, University of Texas – San Antonio, and Southern Methodist University.  Both Dakota State and Tennessee Tech will move on to national competition to be held at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY November 2-4, 2018.

As described by the organization, “The Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) provides a vehicle for up and coming cybersecurity student teams to build and hone the skills required to effectively discover, triage, and mitigate critical security vulnerabilities. This competition is unique in offering a simulated environment that mimics real world networks. The competition focuses on improving the security posture of a fictitious organization and reporting on risks in a manner that is similar to a real professional environment.”  The competition incorporates skillsets involving the use of technology, accurate communication, and effective collaboration.

Participating in this year’s team are Joe Bivens, Darren Cunningham, Connor Gannon, Max Layer, Sam Wehunt, and David Yantis.  Joseph Cross, cybersecurity technologist with CEROC, served as the staff advisor.  Darren Cunningham stated, “It was an incredible learning experience… exhausting, but a lot of fun.”  Eric Brown, assistant director for CEROC, noted “This group is just another example of the high-quality, student professionals which enrich our center’s work.  We are very proud of their accomplishments both in achievement and professional growth.”

CEROC ( is a NSA-designated Center ofAcademic Excellence – Cyber Defense and a CyberCorps SFS participating school since December 2015.  Located in the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech, CEROC offers a wide variety of services and programs across the pillars of education, research and outreach.  Dr. Ambareen Siraj is the founding director of the center who leads its education, research, and outreach activities.  Dr. Siraj is also the founder of the Women in Cybersecurity conference and organization (

More information about the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition can be found at