World Class Faculty & Research / April 28, 2021

At TechFest, Exploring Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

At TechFest, Exploring Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

At Maryland Smith’s annual TechFest, speaker Jesse Hwang opened his presentation with a warning.

“The COVID-19 crisis has forced banks and their customers to use digital tools and processes to compensate for branch, office and call center closures,” said Hwang,  a senior manager of cyber technical at Capital One. “This embarking on a cloud and digital transformation journey makes banks lucrative targets for cyber-criminals, who treated the pandemic as a once-in-a-lifetime gold rush.”

Organizations today must perform continuous threat monitoring with 24x7 security tools, and must manage third-party risks by knowing vendors’ cyber liabilities and by arming employees with cybersecurity awareness and phishing knowledge.

Practicing good cybersecurity is more important than ever, with organizations depending on remote workers amid the pandemic, said speaker Lahar Mishra,  MS ’19, a technical risk management analyst at Verizon Media.

Mishra followed up by telling the audience of undergraduate students how they can best prepare for careers in cybersecurity, with proficiency in cybersecurity concepts and frameworks, a working knowledge of cloud technologies and data analysis, and competencies of critical thinking, problem solving and communication.

This year’s TechFest, hosted by Maryland Smith’s Department of Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, brought together industry leaders who are at the forefront of addressing cybersecurity and privacy issues using modern tools, said John Bono, a Maryland Smith associate clinical professor and the event’s organizer.

The event also recognized standout information systems students graduating this school year. Those students are hand-picked by the information systems faculty based on overall GPA, grades in IS courses, service to the department and overall contributions.

The students are: Dillon Barreto, Ryan Carfora, Madeleine Cheng, Nicholas Chow, Gunleen Deol, Matthew W Lally, Spencer Leins, Xinyu Peng, Chloe Roth, Graham Schuckman, Chao Yu, Rachel Yu and Anne Zappas.

Concluding the event, a final round of judging for the KPMG Excel Competition 2021 was organized by Adam Lee, a Maryland Smith associate clinical professor.

The competition is similar to a case competition, with teams of Smith students using their Excel and data visualization skills to present data-driven business recommendations. In this case, the data were gleaned from user reviews of restaurants around College Park.

The judges, from accounting giant KPMG, applauded the teams’ critical analysis and technical savvy, as well as the students’ application of tools and techniques, such as Excel, Python and visualization.

The winners were Sayaka Shanbhag and Rachel Ma, from the team “EXCEL(erators).” The team, and two other finalist teams, were mentored by three students from the business master’s in information systems program: Ellen Zhang, Jiangkun Xiong, and Maryam Soomro.

They looked at the local restaurant Wasabi Bistro and used data from Yelp to analyze customer ratings by month, keywords and other data points. The winners received $120 each, and the accolades of the judges, faculty, and their peers. 

–By Braden Walden.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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