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News > AFRI hosts cyber conference, next step in new school
AFRI hosts cyber conference, next step in new school

Posted 9/11/2012   Updated 9/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

9/11/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- Cyber Power: The Quest Toward a Common Ground is the theme of the second annual Air Force Research Institute conference Oct. 9-11 in the Officer Training School and will act as another step toward the completion of the new Cyber Air Corps Tactical School, or C-ACTS.

Focusing on cyberspace issues, C-ACTS will use elements already at the Air University, such as Air War College technology electives, Air Command and Staff College's national security seminars and AFRI, said AFRI's cyber defense analyst Dr. Panayotis Yannakogeorgos.

C-ACTS will be organized virtually, publishing and doing original research on cyber issues along with hosting future base workshops and teaching students tactical measures of hacking and defending networks.

"It's more of a virtual thing. It's here and we're putting all the parts together. We're putting wheels that existed in their own silos together under one construct," explained Yannakogeorgos. "Before, you had pools of talent that ACSC didn't know existed, but now that we're organizing this construct, they [leaders] are able to tap into them."

Conferences like the one in October will have dual purposes: to create a foundation of experts for the virtual college and engage people from outside of the AU on today's cyber issues, he said.

"Such conferences contribute to C-ACTS, but they also add the foundation to it so we can have a community of experts that are already engaged with Maxwell and AFRI that we can then tap into for other research projects or just have their brain-power available for the Air University students," said Yannakogeorgos.

Part of a series that began in April, October's conference will look at how the military and the private sector can work together as it relates to cyberspace. This includes how to reduce the mark of cyber weapons and attack, and how to incorporate the use of cyberspace for national security and future Internet trends.

There will be four keynote speakers representing the Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Command and the private sector specializing in Internet governance.
The three-day conference will include presentation, followed by breakout sessions that allow small groups to answer and discuss questions on the challenges of cyberspace.

Yannakogeorgos hopes these small groups will initiate dialogue among sectors that previously had no cyber relations.

"I designed this in a way to get both groups together in the same room, talking to each other, so they can both exchange ideas during the conference and also forge those personal relationships that they can then take into their day-to-day work and try to solve some of the problems there," Yannakogeorgos said.

To attend Cyber Power, register at A registration fee of $50 includes all activities and select meals.

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