Cybersecurity Done Right
We must assure Blue CoLab’s data and infrastructure cannot be compromised.
When I first started at Blue CoLab, I was not sure what to expect. I knew I would have a unique experience. I knew the Blue CoLab trains students in the tech and data of real-time water monitoring and needed team members with a varied skill set. However, I was not sure how mine would fit.
My internship prior to Blue CoLab was at Eaton Vance, a large mutual fund. My job was to mitigate risks to the company’s servers and applications, working in a continuous integration and deployment environment. In short, I helped assure that applications functioned properly and securely during their development.
My Blue CoLab job title is Security Engineer, and while I have done security audits, my present role falls more in line with security architect. I like finding vulnerabilities and I like understanding them, which is probably why I fit pretty well into my current position — playing on my prior experience in risk mitigation, which fits into DevOps.
Cybersecurity done right means that for all of the nodes on a network there exists minimal vulnerabilities. Blue CoLab’s cybersecurity team performs its job by ensuring that our products will not endanger clients with vulnerabilities. The job of the cybersecurity team is to assure minimal, ideally no, vulnerabilities.
When Blue CoLab products are staged for delivery they cannot compromise the servers on which they run, or the users who depend upon them. So, we must assure Blue CoLab is not vulnerable – whether to hackers who seek to manipulate infrastructure operations, ransomware that hijacks our system, or viruses that corrupt data streaming to water users.
This semester, all the teams have been rapidly developing our projects, including an alert app, data visualization, data sonification, website, and more. Next semester, we will start testing them. I am working on a final Security Team proposal as I write this article. I look forward to the next step in the Blue CoLab’s development cycle when my role will get even more action.
Thomas Shen is studying for his B.S. in Computer Science at the Seidenberg School for Computer Science and Information Systems.
The Flint, Michigan water crisis alerted the public to how little we know about our drinking water and how late we learn.
Advanced warning systems about drinking water contamination could save millions of people from exposure to dangerous contaminants.
Technology-based alerts are commonplace in daily life: storm alerts; car collisions; even asteroid near-misses. But not for water.