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  1. Blockchain technology is the cornerstone of digital trust and systems’ decentralization. The necessity of eliminating trust in computing systems has triggered researchers to investigate the applicability of Blockchain to decentralize the conventional security models. Specifically, researchers continuously aim at minimizing trust in the well-known Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) model which currently requires a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) to sign digital certificates. Recently, the Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) was standardized as a certificate issuance automation protocol. It minimizes the human interaction by enabling certificates to be automatically requested, verified, and installed on servers. ACME only solved the automation issue, but the trust concerns remain as a trusted CA is required. In this paper we propose decentralizing the ACME protocol by using the Blockchain technology to enhance the current trust issues of the existing PKI model and to eliminate the need for a trusted CA. The system was implemented and tested on Ethereum Blockchain, and the results showed that the system is feasible in terms of cost, speed, and applicability on a wide range of devices including Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
  2. This paper describes the deployment of a private cloud and the development of virtual laboratories and companion material to teach and train engineering students and Information Technology (IT) professionals in high-throughput networks and cybersecurity. The material and platform, deployed at the University of South Carolina, are also used by other institutions to support regular academic courses, self-pace training of professional IT staff, and workshops across the country. The private cloud is used to deploy scenarios consisting of high-speed networks (up to 50 Gbps), multi-domain environments emulating internetworks, and infrastructures under cyber-attacks using live traffic. For regular academic courses, the virtual laboratories have been adopted by institutions in different states to supplement theoretical material with hands-on activities in IT, electrical engineering, and computer science programs. Topics include Local Area Networks (LANs), congestion-control algorithms, performance tools used to emulate wide area networks (WANs) and their attributes (packet loss, reordering, corruption, latency, jitter, etc.), data transfer applications for high-speed networks, queueing delay and buffer size in routers and switches, active monitoring of multi-domain systems, high-performance cybersecurity tools such as Zeek’s intrusion detection systems, and others. The training platform has been also used by IT professionals from more than 30 states, for self-pace training.more »The material provides training on topics beyond general-purpose network, which are usually overlooked by practitioners and researchers. The virtual laboratories and companion material have also been used in workshops organized across the country. Workshops are co-organized with organizations that operate large backbone networks connecting research centers and national laboratories, and colleges and universities conducting teaching and research activities.« less
  3. This paper describes a project led by the University of South Carolina (USC) to address the cybersecurity workforce gap. The project creates curricular material based on virtual laboratories (vLabs). As vLabs are developed, they are adopted and tested at USC and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), the main partnering institution in this project. These vLabs consist of virtual equipment (e.g., virtual network, virtual router, virtual firewall) emulating complete systems on-demand running in NETLAB. NETLAB is a widely used platform for training purposes across the country, with more than 1,000 institutions currently using it. USC and NNMC have also established an alliance with industry organizations and with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to establish internship opportunities. Currently, student interns are not only exercising technical skills but also developing soft skills such as team work and time management. Finally, in partnership with manufacturer leaders, the project permits students to earn industry certificates. These certificates are aligned with the guidelines for “Information Technology Curricula 2017 for IT programs” by the IEEE/ACM. Specifically, the guidelines indicate that IT should emphasize “learning IT core concepts combined with authentic practice” and “use of professional tools and platforms.” Hands-on vLabs activitiesmore »show that providing access to computing technologies (e.g., professional next-generation firewalls, routers) used in the work environment eases the transition of students from academia to the workplace.« less
  4. This paper describes a project led by the University of South Carolina (USC) to address the cybersecurity workforce gap. The project creates curricular material based on virtual laboratories (vLabs). As vLabs are developed, they are adopted and tested at USC and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), the main partnering institution in this project. These vLabs consist of virtual equipment (e.g., virtual network, virtual router, virtual firewall) emulating complete systems on-demand running in NETLAB. NETLAB is a widely used platform for training purposes across the country, with more than 1,000 institutions currently using it. USC and NNMC have also established an alliance with industry organizations and with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to establish internship opportunities. Currently, student interns are not only exercising technical skills but also developing soft skills such as team work and time management. Finally, in partnership with manufacturer leaders, the project permits students to earn industry certificates. These certificates are aligned with the guidelines for “Information Technology Curricula 2017 for IT programs” by the IEEE/ACM. Specifically, the guidelines indicate that IT should emphasize “learning IT core concepts combined with authentic practice” and “use of professional tools and platforms.” Hands-on vLabs activitiesmore »show that providing access to computing technologies (e.g., professional next-generation firewalls, routers) used in the work environment eases the transition of students from academia to the workplace.« less
  5. This paper describes a project led by the University of South Carolina (USC) to address the cybersecurity workforce gap. The project creates curricular material based on virtual laboratories (vLabs). As vLabs are developed, they are adopted and tested at USC and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC), the main partnering institution in this project. These vLabs consist of virtual equipment (e.g., virtual network, virtual router, virtual firewall) emulating complete systems on-demand running in NETLAB. NETLAB is a widely used platform for training purposes across the country, with more than 1,000 institutions currently using it. USC and NNMC have also established an alliance with industry organizations and with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to establish internship opportunities. Currently, student interns are not only exercising technical skills but also developing soft skills such as team work and time management. Finally, in partnership with manufacturer leaders, the project permits students to earn industry certificates. These certificates are aligned with the guidelines for “Information Technology Curricula 2017 for IT programs” by the IEEE/ACM. Specifically, the guidelines indicate that IT should emphasize “learning IT core concepts combined with authentic practice” and “use of professional tools and platforms.” Hands-on vLabs activitiesmore »show that providing access to computing technologies (e.g., professional next-generation firewalls, routers) used in the work environment eases the transition of students from academia to the workplace.« less