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    University of New Haven Cyber Experts Award Connecticut Civilian Medal of Merit

    University of New Haven Cyber Experts Award Connecticut Civilian Medal of Merit

    Photo By Maj. David Pytlik | U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon coins Dr. Ibrahim Baggili and Ms. Liberty Page in...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. David Pytlik 

    Connecticut National Guard Public Affairs Office

    HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut Military Department presented Dr. Ibrahim Baggili and Ms. Liberty Page with the Connecticut Civilian Medal of Merit on Aug. 25, 2021 at the State Armory in Hartford, CT.

    The pair are University of New Haven’s employees that were critical to the development of Project IRONCLAD, a unique training experience for Guardsmen who work in cyber-related fields that increases both their awareness of system vulnerabilities and their ability to respond to cyber incidents.

    “I can’t say enough about how great it has been working Liberty and Dr. Abe (Baggili),” said Miller. “The time, effort and innovative thinking that they put into chasing the resources necessary to put on IRONCLAD and the team they brought together in developing the curriculum and training the Guardsmen speaks volumes to their character. It’s been great work with them and the team and we look forward to the next round in 2022.”

    IRONCLAD represents a first-of-its-kind training opportunity for Guardsmen, as it was conducted by a private institution that was funded by an NSA-sponsored capacity-building grant.

    Dr. Baggili and Ms. Liberty were instrumental in the grant application process and in the development of the curriculum, which was custom developed for the Connecticut National Guard’s Defensive Cyber Operations Element’s (DCOE) mission essential task list.

    One of the most important aspects of this project was that it provided cyber education to both experts and novices alike. This allows the DCOE to expand the pool of available Soldiers, Airmen and state Militiamen that are trained and capable of responding to incidents such as the September 2020 ransomware attack on Hartford.

    . “Expanding the pool of trained Guardsmen is key because nearly all of our cyber warriors work full-time in outside civilian employment, in both the private and public sectors,” said Maj. Ryan Miller, State Cyber Operations Officer. “Having more folks available helps with not always calling the same people away from their jobs and it gets those who need to return to their jobs back faster.” Not going unnoticed, IRONCLAD was highlighted by name during Senate Armed Services Committee testimony by U.S. Cyber Command Commander, Gen. Paul Nakasone and highlighted by Sen. Richard Blumenthal as a possible model to create a national pipeline to “recruit and retain the expertise in our country that we so desperately need.”

    The University of New Haven held two sessions this summer, instructing 50 Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the state militia. Based on the overwhelming success of the first year of the program, the University of New Haven has already successfully applied for and been awarded a grant to hold another round of Project IRONCLAD again next year. One of the iterations is expected to be integrated into the regional Cyber Yankee exercise, hosted in Connecticut June 5-18, 2022.



    Date Taken: 08.27.2021
    Date Posted: 08.27.2021 09:38
    Story ID: 404009
    Location: HARTFORD, CT, US 

    Web Views: 199
    Downloads: 0