UM Flint Professor for Internet of Things Security%

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Even if you’ve never heard of the term, you probably know the “Internet of Things”. It refers to the increasing number of everyday items connected to the internet – fitness trackers, doorbells, washing machines, even your vehicle. The connected nature of these items can provide considerable convenience for consumers, sending you real-time updates when the laundry is done or when Amazon has left a package at your door. Unfortunately, the same connectivity that makes your everyday life easier can also put your home at risk for cyberattacks.

Suleyman Uludag, associate professor of the Computer science at UM-Flint researches IoT security. His two most recent publications focus on Detect attacks quickly in IoT and a Overview of attacks on the “Smart Grid”– The smart grid is a more connected, decentralized power grid that is used to power cities. This expertise makes Uludag very much in demand as a consultant and speaker. On October 7th he spoke to the North American International Cyber ​​Summit, an event hosted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer that brought together cybersecurity experts from government, business and academia. There he outlined why IoT attacks are increasing and what public policy can contribute to them.

Uludag was connected to the North American Cyber ​​Summit thanks to his involvement in UM-Flint’s Cybersecurity Training Center (more on this below) and conversations with UM-Flint’s Bureau of Economic Development Director Paula Nas.

“We reach a breaking point where things could quickly get out of hand … Young people with little or no background in computers, so-called script kiddies, can wreak havoc,” said Uludag in an interview. “Consumers should be very careful considering the convenience of adding new items to the internet … in many ways we make it easier for the bad guys.”

Uludag explains that due to the rapid growth of IoT (there are nearly 31 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide), there are minimal security standards – many devices ship without the most basic security features. And while an unsecured device could compromise your personal information, the potential for physical damage is very real as well. For example, Hackers have infiltrated energy companies several times in Ukraine, which cut the power supply for thousands of customers.

The potential for catastrophic damage is why Uludag is campaigning for regulation in the fast-growing area of ​​connected devices. He sees lectures like the one he gave at the North American International Cyber ​​Summit as a powerful way to raise awareness of this topic.

Seemingly harmless objects like your fitness tracker can give hackers a back door to your personal information.

“We call on the legislature to create incentives for manufacturers to build safer products,” says Uludag. “There are some initiatives in Congress right now and hopefully these initiatives will accelerate after this summit – it is a very urgent matter.”

Thanks to experts like Uludag, UM-Flint has become a target for education and training in the field of cybersecurity. Uludag is also active in Research best practices in teaching cybersecurity for students. Consider these options with UM-Flint:

These offers not only prepare the UM Flint community to resolve one of the world’s most pressing concerns, but also make the students extremely competitive in the job market. The demand for information security analysts is up expected to grow by 31 percent by 2029, making it one of the fastest growing employment segments in the country.

To learn more about the UM-Flint Computer Science & Information Systems degree and certificate offerings, visit https://www.umflint.edu/computer-science.


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