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CERIAS Security Seminar: Critical Infrastructure Resilience Hinges on Cyber-Physical Convergence

The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security
January 26, 2022
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


Dr. David Mussington
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Abstract: Cyber-physical systems are delivering an increasing portion of the infrastructure services at the heart of our economy and national security, and you don’t have to look far for examples of technology-enabled, industrial control, and the internet-of-things in the core operations of healthcare, food and agriculture, energy, transportation, or manufacturing. Further, one has only to look at the contemporary examples of our systems under stress, such as the JBS and Colonial Pipeline cyber attacks, to understand the fragile risk ecosystem confronting infrastructure owners and operators of cyber-physical systems.

In fact, the title of this talk is purposely a catch-22, meaning that just as infrastructure resilience is inherently dependent on safe and secure cyber-physical systems, so too is the collective work to see cyber and physical security achieve resilience.

Dr. David Mussington serves as the Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for the Infrastructure Security Division (ISD) at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as of February 2021. As EAD, he helps lead CISA’s efforts to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure in coordination with government and the private sector. His priorities for ISD include vulnerability and risk assessments; securing soft targets and crowded places; training and exercises; and securing high-risk chemical facilities.

Prior to joining CISA, Dr. Mussington was Professor of the Practice and Director for the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the School of Public Policy for the University of Maryland. At RAND Corporation he led counter terrorism and cyber security studies for the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, and Amtrak. He later took on the role of Chief of Corporate Security for Amtrak where he was the senior official overseeing infrastructure protection, counter terrorism, and emergency response programs.

Later at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), he was assistant director of the Information Technology and Systems Division (ITSD), and directed cybersecurity studies for DHS, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Communications Commission, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Moreover in 2010, Dr. Mussington was senior adviser for cyber policy in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), later serving on the Obama administration’s National Security Council staff as Director for surface transportation security policy. In the former role, he led preparation and release of the 2011 Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which was DOD’s first enterprise-wide cyber strategy document.

Dr. Mussington has a Doctorate in Political Science from Canada’s Carleton University. He also received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He undertook post-doctoral work at Harvard’s Belfer Center where he was a MacArthur Scholar, and at the U.K.’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

The weekly security seminar has been held every semester since spring of 1992. We invite personnel at Purdue and visitors from outside to present on topics of particular interest to them in the areas of computer and network security, computer crime investigation, information warfare, information ethics, public policy for computing and security, the computing "underground," and other related topics. More info

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