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Management research to enhance cyber security resiliency


Term:

Spring-Summer

Department:

15: Management

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Stuart Madnick

Faculty email:

smadnick@mit.edu

Apply by:

2/1/2021

Contact:

Please email CAMS Senior Admin, Nic Ellis (ellisn@mit.edu) with: 1. Your current CV 2. A brief description of your interest in o

Project Description

Cybersecurity has a critical role in today’s digital society, yet managers and leaders are often at a loss when it comes to keeping their organizations secure. Without effective strategies and plans to manage risks in cybersecurity, managers can jeopardize their entire organization. Making the right decisions in cybersecurity requires more than just making decisions about the latest technology. Research has shown that the majority of cyber breaches occur because of accidental or malicious human error. Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS) fills a critical need for leaders and managers of cybersecurity by focusing on managerial, strategic, and organizational issues. We seek undergraduate researchers interested in helping us create the next big ideas in cybersecurity. We have several opportunities for interested UROP students during IAP and/or the spring semester. Some active projects are listed here but we have other projects for motivated students. We have projects that involve coding and those that involve data analysis. We have work for just about any background (you don’t have to be a techie or know much about cybersecurity, but both are helpful). We seek students with drive and interest in cyber security. Contact us if you are interested in knowing more. 1) Building secure products and services: We seek a student interested in a current project that studies product design and development processes and how to encourage developers to build more secure offerings. This research began in summer 2020 and is continuing through spring and possibly summer 2021. The next step is a project to develop a framework that will help product development managers understand the tradeoffs and make managerial decisions that encourage more secure designs. The output would be a white paper with this framework. 2) Culture of cybersecurity around the globe: We seek a student to help us start a project looking at how different cultures around the world shape cybersecurity culture of organizations. This project would begin with a review of previous written articles (academic and in the press) and come up with propositions about how country culture shapes organizational cybersecurity culture. 3) Cybersecurity of Industrial Control Systems is a critical and emerging problem that requires holistic measures to adequately safeguard. In an effort to apply systems theory to protect our critical infrastructure industrial control systems, we developed an impressive web application that enables discovery of critical cyber-related vulnerabilities and countermeasures in complex systems. The web app is about 80% done and can be found at https://stamp-webapp.web.app/. We now want to get this web application to production stage and need help with improving the UI and UX for the web app. The ideal candidate would have web development and programming experience and would be familiar with Javascript, REACT, Python etc. 4) Cyber Range to Train Utility Plant Operators. We are developing a cyber range to train plant operators to safeguard their plants against cyberattacks – again a very exciting project that is fairly early in its implementation and could use some new ideas and help. Visit https://jsfiddle.net/sherkhan37/0wvc4m16/43/show to see an early-stage industrial gas turbine simulation model that is intended to be connected to an active cyber range. For this project, exposure to industrial automation, industrial protocols, plant processes or mechanical equipment (including, pumps, valves etc.) could be valuable. 5) Entry Level Cyber Talent Research. You may have heard that there is a very large talent shortage for cyber security professionals. Companies cannot find enough people to hire at entry,- mid-, or senior level roles. Our team is designing a bootcamp for entry level talent- people who want to explore cybersecurity jobs but have no cyber experience. This UROP project will be to assist with the development of this program by doing background research on readings for the course, assisting with synthesizing the readings into an overview white paper, and possibly assisting with creating presentations on materials.

Pre-requisites

We need students who are self-starters and who will take the initiative to accomplish projects. Required skills include: attention to details, critical thinking, excellent reading comprehension, strong writing and communication skills. A familiarity with cybersecurity is a helpful but not required—you will learn on the job. We are particularly interested in working with motivated and organized students who are committed to doing research and who can take a project idea and make it happen. Continuing to work with us during the summer (for pay or credit) is a possibility for successful students. Please email CAMS Senior Admin, Nic Ellis (ellisn@mit.edu) with: 1. Your current CV 2. A brief description of your interest in one of the projects mentioned above, or other areas of cybersecurity you might want to explore from our research agenda, including why you are interested in working on this project, and 3. A writing sample (can be a paper from one of your classes). Feel free to ask us questions.