IBM To Establish New Cybersecurity Center For US Federal Clients

IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity to help agencies navigate current and future threats Convenes advisory group of former government officials for expanded expertise

WASHINGTON—IBM today announced that it is creating the IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity, a collaborative environment focused on helping federal agencies address current and future cybersecurity threats. The center will facilitate events and learnings, drawing on IBM’s cybersecurity expertise from delivering software and managed services to over 17,500 security customers globally. Working with a group of internal IBM experts and external advisors, including former government officials with decades of cybersecurity experience, the center will leverage IBM technology and host workshops focused on priorities such as zero trust frameworks and cloud security, complemented by access to IBM Research labs to collaborate around the future of encryption.

As recent threats like SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack against critical infrastructure have shown, the threat landscape has crossed over from the digital world to the physical. In fact, the 2021 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index found that ransomware accounted for 33% of the attacks on government organizations in 2020. With the US Federal government furthering its investment in hybrid cloud, new approaches for cybersecurity should focus on protecting both systems as well as data – no matter where it is – either on premise, in the cloud, or at the edge.

The IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity will be housed at IBM’s offices in downtown Washington DC. The new facility will feature secured laboratory space where government customers can collaborate on unique solutions for advanced security threats leveraging insights from demos of IBM technologies and services. Initially, IBM will conduct virtual sessions to accommodate any challenges to meeting in person, with the capability to execute engagements at on-site customer locations.

“IBM is committed to helping our US Federal government customers meet cybersecurity modernization requirements – both for current and future threats,” said Stephen LaFleche, General Manager Public and Federal Market, IBM. “Hybrid cloud environments can provide an opportunity to implement new technologies and techniques, like a zero trust framework and advanced encryption – while helping make the government more accessible and easier for citizens work with. These techniques are also being applied in other highly regulated industries, such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare.” 

Center Exploring Current and Future Threats

A central goal of the IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity is to provide access to information on cybersecurity technologies IBM is using with the public and private sectors, and security innovations being developed in IBM Research laboratories via workshops. Some of initial examples of the sessions IBM will conduct include:

  • Adapting to a Zero Trust World – Exploring the unique implementation needs for government to apply the core principles of zero trust: least privilege access; never trust, always verify; and assume breach. IBM will leverage blueprints from successful public and private sector implementations to assist agencies to plan their zero trust journey. The session will explore four initiatives including: Securing the hybrid and remote workforce, Reducing the risk of insider threats, Protecting the hybrid cloud and Preserving customer privacy. As part of the center, IBM can demonstrate the capabilities of IBM Cloud Pak for Security to help orchestrate zero trust approaches. Customers can also experience the IBM Zero Trust Acceleration workshop to help manage new emerging requirements for a zero trust approach at US Federal agencies – with added expertise via partnerships like Zscaler and Illumio.
     
  • Hybrid Cloud Security Challenges for Data Portability – Part of adapting zero trust models is disrupting the architecture design for IT systems. Agencies using multi-cloud and multi-tenant environments may be looking to securely modernize their applications and move data between on premise and cloud environments. As part of this workshop, IBM Security architects can demonstrate the use of trusted execution environments, containers, and open standards as a reference point for future hybrid cloud designs via  IBM Security Services for Cloud. IBM is also helping customers protect data across hybrid environments for current threats. For example, IBM services and technologies are designed to maintain the highest available level of cryptographic key encryption protection to help protect existing data in the cloud1 and prepare for future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing. 
     
  • The Future of Cryptography – With modern day cryptographic techniques threatened by advancements in computing, IBM Research is expanding its efforts in hardening this essential technology. IBM currently has several Quantum-safe cryptography standards in consideration with NIST and is at the forefront of making data usable while encrypted via Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) and Confidential Computing. As part of this workshop, IBM researchers can help US Federal agency teams understand the implications that the technology will have on next-generation architectures and security protocols. IBM Z helps agencies protect against, and respond to threats, with technologies such as: encryption everywhere for data at rest and in transit to protect against data loss or corruption.

Expertise Available via IBM Center

The IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity Advisory Group brings together former public sector leaders and private sector experts that can advise US Federal customers on historical challenges and help evaluate best practices for navigating current and future regulations and orders. Access to the advisory group will be made available via on-site and virtual conferences as well as individual discussions. The Center Advisory Group will also publish thought leadership and research on cybersecurity issues and solutions.

Advisory group members include:

  • Tony Scott – Former US Chief Information Officer
  • Curt Dukes – Former Information Security/Cyber Security Lead for NSA
  • Kiersten Todt – Former Cybersecurity Advisor for President Obama
  • Margaret Graves – Former Deputy Federal CIO and Deputy DHS CIO
  • Daniel Chenok – Former Branch Chief for OMB
  • Brian Dravis, Major General (ret) – Former Director Joint Service Provider DISA, DOD
  • Terry Halvorsen – Former DOD CIO, DON CIO, and Deputy Commander Network Warfare Command

The world-renowned IBM Security X-Force research organization will also be available via Center events. IBM Security X-Force monitors 150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries. Early access to research from X-Force will be available for US Federal customers engaged via the Center.

IBM X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center

Industry’s first fully functional Security Operation Center (SOC) on wheels was launched by IBM in 2018. The IBM X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center (C-TOC) travels onsite for cybersecurity training, education and response, including immersive cyberattack simulations to help organizations improve their incident response efforts.

The IBM X-Force Command Cyber Tactical Operations Center (C-TOC) will travel onsite for cybersecurity training, education and response, including immersive cyberattack simulations to help organizations improve their incident response efforts.

The IBM X-Force C-TOC provides a gesture-controlled cybersecurity “watch floor,” data center and conference facilities that can accommodate two dozen operators, analysts and incident command center staff.

About IBM Security
IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM Security X-Force research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. IBM Security offers a completely flexible deployment model from consultancy, advice from industry experts, advanced technology to managed security services.

For more information, please check www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog.

Source and photo credits: IBM and Feature Photo Service

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The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center grows rapidly in size and scope

ARMONK, NY—When IBM launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center last September, our goal was to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a way that would advance not only quantum information science, but also STEM-based opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities. We are proud to report that this initiative in the quantum computing field is off to a fast start, as HBCUs, students, and faculty begin to explore the Center’s vast potential.

Membership has nearly doubled in less than six months to a total of 23 HBCUs. We have created a community of students and faculty, including the start of an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with Qiskit, and have contributed to a pre-print on arXiv that investigates the use of machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Expanding the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center

Today, we’ve announced a slate of new members for the Center, with 10 historically Black colleges and universities joining the Center’s 13 founding institutions. The new schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Distinguished faculty

In addition to this rapid growth, we are honored to have distinguished faculty as members of the Center, including Howard University associate professor of physics Thomas Searles, winner of the inaugural Joseph A. Johnson III Award for Excellence; Serena Eley, an assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines and head of the Eley Quantum Materials Group; and Anderson Sunda-Meya, an associate professor of physics at Xavier University of Louisiana and recipient of the 2021 American Physical Society Excellence in Physics Education Award.

Professors Eley and Searles have also received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the organization’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to become academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their department or organization.

Inclusion from the start

The Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines. IBM’s goals are to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE, and providing opportunities for scholarship, fellowships, and internships for HBCU undergraduate and graduate students.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center’s mission is to educate, foster collaboration on joint research, and ultimately create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce for students studying everything from physics and chemistry to computer science and business. The Center’s members collaborate across their respective institutions, and are building regional interactions to strengthen both faculty and student engagement.

Black and Latinx students leave STEM majors at nearly twice the rate of white students, due largely to the lack of a support structure and access to resources as they pursue their academic goals, according to EAB, a Washington-based education research company. We see the need for an inclusive, supportive space where these students and their professors are able to collaborate and explore emerging technologies. This collaboration with HBCUs, which educate 27 percent of African American graduates with STEM degrees, will increase opportunities for faculty and students to identify and launch successful careers in the budding field of quantum computing.

Since IBM first put a quantum computer on the cloud almost five years ago, it has pushed the boundaries of both access and enablement for quantum computation at a global scale. One example is our Qiskit Global Summer School, which delivered an undergraduate-level course on quantum algorithms to a global audience of over 4,000 students in over 100 countries. Another example is our partnership with The Coding School expanding quantum education to high schools by educating thousands of students around the world for a full academic year.

Read more on Qiskit Medium: How Howard University Students Are Hoping to Change the Future of Quantum Computing

We know that early touch points with new technology can help increase the likelihood of capturing interest in the subject and is critical for underrepresented communities. In return, we envision quantum computing benefitting greatly from a diverse community of researchers and industry professionals that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.

Looking forward

As the Center continues to develop, we are measuring success on a number of metrics, including student engagement, talent and workforce development, and research capacity. We hope to apply these best practices as we build the quantum workforce, especially at community colleges and undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, which all serve traditionally underrepresented communities in STEM.

Source and photo credits: IBM | February 22, 2021 | Written by: Dr.  Kayla Lee and Benita Zazueta

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Tablets For Teens • www.tabletsforteens.org

IBM elects Admiral Michelle J. Howard to its Board of Directors

IBM elects Admiral Howard to its Board of Directors

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ARMONK, New York—The IBM board of directors today elected Admiral Michelle J. Howard, U.S. Navy (retired) to the board, effective March 1, 2019.

adm-howard-ibmAdmiral Howard, 58, is a former United States Navy officer and the first woman to become a 4-star admiral. She was the first African-American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy (the USS Rushmore). Admiral Howard was also the first African-American and the first woman to be named Vice Chief of Naval Operations when she was appointed to that role by the President in July 2014. She retired in December 2017 as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa and the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy, after a distinguished 35-year career.

Admiral Howard is currently the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University, where she teaches in the areas of cybersecurity and international policy.

Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “Admiral Howard is a groundbreaking leader with a distinguished career in military service. Her leadership skills, international perspective and extensive experience with cybersecurity and information technology will make her a great addition to the IBM Board.”

Admiral Howard graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982, and from the United States Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998 with a master’s degree in military arts and sciences. She was the first female graduate of the Naval Academy to be promoted to flag officer.

She has received honorary degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, American Public University and North Carolina State University, and is the recipient of many honors, including the NAACP Chairman’s Image Award, the French Legion of Honor and the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award.

— Information source and cover photo: IBM

BDPA-DC and NROTC

Admiral Michelle Howard (center) sharing a few moments with Navy and Marine Corps Midshipmen from Howard University and George Washington University’s Naval ROTC Unit during BDPA’s 35th Anniversary Community Technology Awards Gala. This annual Computer Science event was  hosted by National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.
— photo © 2013 bdpatoday

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Select here to join BDPA

More Hidden Figures Unveiled at CES


LAS VEGAS, NV—BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members attended a CES SuperSession during #CES2017 co-hosted by IBM and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The Power of Hidden Figures: Diversity in STEM” SuperSession was moderated by award-winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien. The SuperSession’s panel discussion with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer and Director Theodore Melfi from the movie “Hidden Figures” was held during #CES2017 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 6, 2017, during the same day of their film’s release.

Octavia Spencer’s role in “Hidden Figures” is Ms. Dorothy Vaughan who selflessly helped other women gain footholds in the male-dominated space program at NASA and data processing fields.

Advocacy begins with you,
the individual…

– Octavia Spencer, Oscar-winning Actress

This special SuperSession’s distinguished panelists included: IBM Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre; “Hidden Figures” Director Theodore Melfi; Oscar-winning Actress Octavia Spencer; Leah Gilliam, Vice President, Girls Who Code; Elizabeth Gabler, President, Fox 2000 Pictures; Rashid Ferrod Davis, Founding Principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH); and Kristen Summers, IBM Watson Public Sector.

Visit IBM’s landing page to view CES’ SuperSession:
http://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/hidden-figures/

The Power of Hidden Figures: Diversity in STEM

IBM @ CES: Join Us Today 01.06.17

hiddenfigures-posterCES SuperSession

Las Vegas, NV—Soledad O’Brien, world renowned journalist, will lead a conversation today on the importance of diversity in STEM fields. Panelists include talent from the film who share the extraordinary accomplishments of the characters and why it is important to tell their stories.

Friday, January 6th, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Las Vegas Convention Center Room N257

BDPA@CES MeetUp and bdpatoday group photo immediately follow.

Not at CES? Join us via livestream at IBM.com/HiddenFigures starting on Friday, January 6th, at 11:30am PST (2:30pm EST).

Sources: IBM and CTA
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