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While our paths may be divergent, all organizations navigate the same obstacles with the destination of robust networks, secure information and connected communities.

In these uncharted times, Merit Member Conference 2019 provides discourse on the tools, expertise and resources we need to eclipse these challenges together, while providing the best ROI for your objectives.

The MMC 2019 Voyage to the Future aims to alleviate the headaches of:

  • Network planning
  • The increasing threat environment
  • Lagging policies and regulation
  • Data application and storage security
  • Nontraditional workforce preferences
  • Information accessibility and addressing the digital divide





MAY 8 – 9, 2019



Member Day – May 8, 2019
Breakfast and Registration

Members’ Lounge


Relax and take a break from the day in the Member’s Lounge where you can pick up your exclusive member item, enjoy snacks, play games, and sit down before you get back into the conference!
If you haven’t already, please take our member survey with the link here or go to the Member Survey tab in the app


Opening Remarks

Read Abstract

Welcome to Merit Member Conference 2019!

Joe Sawasky / Pierrette Widmeyer
President & CEO / Director of Marketing and Communications, Merit Network

Read Abstract

The Maker Movement can be an intimidating concept for teachers, but it is worth the small amount of uncomfortableness to learn new skills that will allow students of varying skill levels to engage in learning in many different ways to help support strong critical thinking skills. Whether through coding their own robot, 3D designing their own Medieval town, or sewing a family tree quilt, students as makers is a great way to increase student engagement and to give them the power to drive their learning into areas that are meaningful to them. To be able to accomplish this change in our educational system, students need the combined effort of the entire community. This Keynote will push you to consider alternative approaches to instruction and assessment to help reMAKE education.

Nicholas Provenzano
Educator / Author, The Nerdy Teacher

The New Merit Member Portal: Enhancing the Member Digital Experience

Read Abstract

Join Michael Thompson and David Dennis as they go over all the recent changes made and will be making to the Merit Member Portal. This session will also take a look at Merit’s product and services road map for the coming year.

Michael Thompson / David Dennis
Senior / Intermediate Developer / Executive Director of Product Management, Merit Network

#FixTheDamnInternet – Ending the Digital Divide for Rural Students

Read Abstract

This session aims to raise awareness surrounding rural broadband connectivity issues in Michigan that exacerbate the “homework gap” and negatively affect digital inclusion. According to the 2018 “Michigan Broadband Roadmap” report, an estimated 27% of Michigan students do not have access to broadband in their homes. Our panel discussion will explore a variety of approaches that can be used, such as community coalitions, changes in regulation and public/private partnerships to connect the underserved and eliminate the homework gap.

Moderator: Charlotte Bewersdorff / Joe Sawasky | Panelists: Ron Siegel / Ben Fineman
Vice President Member Engagement & Marketing / President & CEO, Merit Network / General Manager, Allband Communications Cooperative / Program Manager, Cloud Collaboration Services, Internet2
“It’s Automagical” – Cloud Vendor API Offerings and IT Project Planning Conversations With Constituents

Read Abstract

The attendees will learn best practices to effectively communicate the Total IT Project effort required when cloud vendors offer APIs over batch file feeds to transfer data to and back from cloud applications. This presentation and discussion will focus on a set of recommendations, and IT project planning requirements to discuss with customers and constituents to ensure they properly understand the resource commitments, budget planning, technical requirements and long term engagement necessary to implement, manage and maintain these solutions.

Lori Tirpak / Teri Abbo
Executive Director / Director of IT Services Alliance, Oakland University, University Technology Services
65% Technology Funding for Healthcare

Read Abstract

Receive an in-depth understanding of how to obtain 65% technology funding for healthcare related entities. The Program Overview – Who is eligible to Participate (You’ll be Surprised) – Consortia Filing Process/Procedure – Technology (What’s Eligible) – MiCTA Support.

Gary Green
Consultant-USF E-Rate/Healthcare Connect Fund, MiCTA
Inside an Open Source Library: AADL Under the Hood

Read Abstract

Transitioning Library IT mostly off of proprietary systems is easy; you just work steadily at it for 20 years. Come take an entertaining tour of what AADL has been able to achieve solving common library problems with open source solutions, from networking to websites to digital archives to library automation and print management.

Eli Neiburger
Deputy Director, Ann Arbor District Library


Read Abstract

In this interactive presentation attendees will learn how F5’s Good, Better, Best licensing model works and how the F5 solutions solve common problems, such as app-specific high availability across multiple data centers without using BGP. We’ll discuss how F5’s SSL Orchestrator future-proofs your security investments while saving spend on high-end security appliances. At the end of the presentation we’ll conduct a live demo of F5’s latest BIG-IQ – covering the advanced analytics dashboard on a live website.

Austin Geraci / Rich Leonard
VP of Engineering & Operations, WorldTechIT / Account Manager, F5 Networks
MERIT COMMUNITY SUPPORTER: The Evolution of Network Access Technology for Edge Access

Read Abstract

ADVA will be presenting on the evolution of network access technology for edge access. The presentation will look at what is driving bandwidth demands towards 10 Gig and 100 gig for enhanced services. Bringing the ability to add value added services from IP to other layer 2 and 3 solutions, and how to serve the needs of Merit’s members today as well as in the future by enabling agile access to the MERIT network.

Matthew Kennamore
Senior Director of Business Development, ADVA Optical Networking
Transition & Snack Break
WSU Video Surveillance Overview & Demo

Read Abstract

First we will discuss the unique relationship between WSU IT and the Police Department. Then we will present our 1500+ camera installation including: device types, design considerations, support SLA, cost model and future plans. The last portion of the presentation will be a live demo of the camera system.

Gary Morris / Laura Hendrick
Lead Applications Technical Analyst / Senior Director for IT Infrastructure & Operations, Wayne State University
Drafting Software Development Standards

Read Abstract

If your IT department is like ours at Wayne State, it produces a lot of custom source code (don’t forget provisioning scripts or database object declarations). Until December 2018, we never really had an official set of standards for how that source code and the applications and integrations that it comprises are developed and maintained. Last year, our IT Quality Assurance Director was tasked with drafting a set of standards that would form the basis for ongoing future code reviews. This presentation will cover some of the whys, hows, and what fors behind that process as well as share the final product as an example of what might come of such an effort at your organization.

Keith E. Freeman / Garrett McManaway
IT Quality Assurance Director / CISO, Wayne State University
Cultivating Talent With a Student IT Internship Program

Read Abstract

As the job market for IT staff continues to tighten in Southeast Michigan, we are faced with new challenges for recruiting staff and developing existing staff. Wayne State University’s IT division has started a three-year internship program that leverages our ability to draw from our own academic programs to recruit talent and provide leadership opportunities for senior staff. Attendees will learn about the challenges and successes of recruiting, managing, and evaluating student interns while they rotate through a variety of IT disciplines such as networking, application development and customer support.

Michael Ward /Robert Thompson
Lead Systems Integrator/ Graduate Teaching Assistant, Wayne State University
Saving Money by Reducing Work in Progress

Read Abstract

We all multitask, but multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 70%. Learn how! Multitasking feels like a requirement in the IT Field. Members will learn agile methods for multitasking IT responsibilities. This presentation will have live demos that participants will take part in.

Michael Hess
Senior Technologist, University of Michigan
Crawl, Walk, Run: Get Started With IPv6

Read Abstract

IPv6 will eventually replace IPv4. However, during the transition, institutions and enterprises that deploy IPv6 won’t typically be able to start sunsetting support for IPv4 right away. So, while a valuable benefit of deploying IPv6 is the reduction (and someday elimination) of demand for IPv4 address space and network infrastructure, it will be several years before IPv6 operators will fully realize that benefit. Fortunately, implementing IPv6 does not have to be especially difficult, costly, or disruptive. IPv6 can be deployed incrementally and even opportunistically. This presentation will describe the 6 top steps that Higher Educational Institutions can take to deploy IPv6.

John O’Brien
Network Architect, University of Pennsylvania
SPONSOR PRESENTATION: The Dynamic Cyber Security Landscape

Read Abstract

During this presentation you will: • Review the threat landscape including likely “bad actors” and targets. • Cover the tactics, techniques and procedures used by cyber criminals/activists/nation states. • Discuss why traditional antivirus and user awareness fail to detect and block attacks. • Offer strategies to help protect your organization from malicious exploits, malware and ransomware attacks • See demonstrations of actual cyber attacks and the defenses that can help defend against such events.

Bob Vish
Cyber Security Consulting Engineer, Palo Alto Networks


Read Abstract

An overview of streaming telemetry and the automation of networking systems. Automation is the only way for network engineers and architects to scale and manage the networks of the (near) future. Telemetry is the new model for getting meaningful performance information from devices. This talk will explore where they intersect.

Shane Praay
Senior Systems Engineer, Juniper Networks
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: People: Tech’s Most Complex Challenge

Read Abstract

Technical roles and expectations are changing dramatically-it’s not a dark corner cube job anymore but a first line of defense in managing risk, driving culture, increasing engagement and bridging communication in and out of your organization. This kind of change creates volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity and now­­­­ –more than ever— tech leaders need to know how to diagnose and design teams who are up to the challenge. Align your People strategy to your Business strategy…using data and science!

Stephanie Murphy
Talent Optimization, ADVISA
Last Chance: EBS Spectrum for Rural Broadband

Read Abstract

Educational institutions are the only entities eligible to hold FCC licenses in the 2.5 – 2.7 GHz portion of the spectrum — Educational Broadband Service (EBS), but there hasn’t been an application window since 1995. The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in 2018 to “remake” EBS. An application window for educators is proposed, but so is going directly to commercial auctions, a disaster for our rural communities. Educators cannot compete with operators, but only educators will build broadband services in low density population areas. The education community must push for the right to apply for these valuable frequencies available primarily in rural areas. They must be ready to build their own 4G/5G system if they cannot find a partner who will build where broadband services are needed most. This session will cover the latest news on the NPRM and how building your own has become surprisingly affordable.

Patrick J. Gossman
Deputy CIO, Research & Executive Director, Community Telecommunications Network

#FixTheDamnInternet – Measure it, Fund it, Build it – Closing the Homework Gap for Michigan Communities!

Read Abstract

“At least 381,000 households in Michigan do not have access to broadband – primarily because low returns on investment in rural areas are not conducive to for-profit deployment. A consistent challenge nationally is understanding where and what speeds and attributes broadband is currently available.
The Moonshot partnership is in the process of deploying citizen-scientist data collection surveys and speed tests in a number of pilot communities in rural Michigan. This panel discussion will explore the approach, future program phases and preliminary data findings.”

Charlotte Bewersdorff / Johannes Bauer / Keith Hampton
Vice President of Member Engagement & Marketing, Merit Network / Quello Chair for Media and Information Policy / Professor, Department of Media and Information, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University
Bad, Good, Better: Wireless @ Wayne

Read Abstract

WSU is nearing completion of a $4M+ project to replace and expand wireless on campus. We will present project scope and plan, detailing how we replaced 3000 wireless APs during a single summer, using external vendors and student assistants to fast-track the project. We will also present new wireless features at WSU, system metrics and design standards. The last portion of the presentation will cover our indoor infill as well as planned (new) outdoor wireless.

Juan Richardson / Chuck Zuber
Interim Director for Edge Networking / Network Engineer II, Wayne State University
The Impact of Virtual Reality on Educational IT Environments

Read Abstract

Virtual reality is upon us – the consumer release of immersive head mounted displays has made high quality virtual reality experiences available to faculty, staff, and students around the world. The new capabilities that these technologies enable are broad ranging – from virtual field trips, to hands on training, to completely new pedagogies and more. But, any new technology comes with implications for educational IT environments. In this session, Ben Fineman of Internet2 will give an overview of the virtual and augmented reality landscape for education, and discuss the challenges and opportunities that these technologies present for educational IT environments.

Ben Fineman
Program Manager / Cloud Collaboration, Internet2

MiND: Michigan Networking Directors’ Community of Practice Overview

Read Abstract

Learn about our member exclusive collaboration session for all things networking. Questions about Ipv6 adoption? Struggling with resource management within your network? Issues with switch routers, capacity planning, IP address management and more?
The MiND (Michigan Networking Directors) Community of Practice is designed to allow collaboration surrounding emerging technologies and to address current networking issues, concerns and successes with other skilled network engineers, directors and technicians.
This session ends with an open question opportunity to decide if a membership is right for your organization.

Bob Stovall
Vice President of Network Strategy & Architecture, Merit Network

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: More Intuitive Ways to Learn – How to Boost Student and Teacher Experience On and Off Campus

Read Abstract

New learning models and technologies are helping educators at institutions of all sizes increase learning opportunities, boost student engagement, enhance the experience on and off campus and drive innovative research. Educators have a lot on their plates and can’t afford to sacrifice time spent teaching to grapple with new solutions that don’t fit in classroom solutions. In our session we will showcase how to embed collaboration into teaching routines and learning process including integration with the leading learning management systems used today.

Dr. Lance Ford
Educational Technology Advocate, Cisco

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: Where Do I Start? Building a Micro-segmented Security Policy

Read Abstract

Attendees will learn the fundamentals of micro segmentation in both theory and practice. This session is dedicated to answering questions, providing recommendations and real world examples of how to weaponized a micro-segmentation initiative at your organization. Attendees will dive straight into micro-segmentation design methodology based upon real world examples of recent security break-ins. This will be followed by a deep dive into the distributed firewall. We will review customer examples of both good and bad rule building and the impact of this. We’ll end the workshop going through each of the tools at your disposal to ease into day 2 operations to quickly and accurately microseg your environment leading to a zero trust architecture.

Jimmy Ray Purser / Daniel Heidt
Staff System Engineer, VMware / General Manager & Thought Manager, Access Interactive

University Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a university are invited to attend this session.

Community College Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a community college are invited to attend this session.

K-12 Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a K12 organization are invited to attend this session.

Private College Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a private college are invited to attend this session.

Library Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a library are invited to attend this session.

Government Collaboration Session

Read Abstract

Any members that are part of a government organization are invited to attend this session.

Meet the Merit IPv6RP Advisory Board Members

Read Abstract

This will be a private session for the IPv6 Readiness Program (IPv6RP) participants (who are staff members of Merit’s governing institutions) and MAC members to meet the program’s advisory board members. The IPv6RP Advisory Board Members will be sitting in a panel format for Bob Stovall, Lola Killey, and the session attendees ask them questions about IPv6.

Transition & Snack Break

The State of Merit & Merit Awards

Read Abstract

Join our President & CEO, Joe Sawasky, for the State of Merit.

Joe Sawasky
President & CEO, Merit Network
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Why You Should Really Start Worrying About Superintelligent AI Now

Read Abstract

A charm offensive is underway as companies ease the world into the new reality where artificial intelligence has an increasing hand in our everyday lives. But there is also a chorus of very smart people who are warning us about AI. While it could create an extremely bright future for humanity, AI might instead bring about our extinction. It sounds like science fiction, but if you’ll keep an open mind, Josh explains through real-world examples how things could go surprisingly wrong for humans with the rise of artificial intelligence — and might convince you to rethink how you feel about those ads for AI you see on TV.

Josh Clark
Podcaster, Stuff You Should Know, The End of the World with Josh Clark

Closing Comments

Read Abstract

Thank you for attending Member Day of Merit Member Conference 2019!

Pierrette Widmeyer
Director of Marketing and Communications, Merit Network
Cocktail Reception

Security Day — May 9, 2019
Breakfast and Registration
Members’ Lounge

Welcome Address

Read Abstract

Welcome to Security Day of Merit Member Conference 2019!

Dr. Joe Adams / Pierrette Widmeyer
Vice President of Research and Cyber Security / Director of Marketing and Communications, Merit Network
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: How Termites Solve Their Problems (But Can They Help Us Solve Ours?)

Read More

What can termites can teach us about neural networks and the necessity of morality with technology regulation?

Lisa Margonelli
Journalist, Author of Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology
Emerging Technologies and Public Sector: Are You Ready?

Read Abstract

Data Science, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence. Serverless Computing, Docker, Kubernetes, Containers. ReactJS, Rust, Mongo, Datastax. Multi-Cloud, IoT, Edge Computing, Fog Computing. Cynefin Decision Framework. And the increasing complexity of integrating, managing, and operating all of this. Whew! The wave of emerging technologies now burgeoning around us is not letting up, and promises only to grow into the 2020s. Recent reports indicate that many skills in IT now have a useful lifecycle of only two-to-four years. For many of us, with running applications more than 8-12 years old (or 20), coping with this new world will be a watershed challenge. Which technologies matter? Which might we ignore for a while? Which are vital this year? Can we train staff quickly enough? Will there be funding for this? Can we recruit new skills? Will there be enough capacity in the global market to support hiring? Or will this be the impetus for more rapid out-sourcing, perhaps even off-shore? Join me to examine these changes now coming over our collective horizon.

Paul Groll
Director of Emerging Technologies, State of Michigan
ACE – WCC’s Automotive Cybersecurity Educator

Read Abstract

Meet ACE, Washtenaw Community College’s Automotive Cybersecurity Educator. ACE is WCC’s newest cybersecurity tool to help students learn about the network of an automobile and how the car network can be hacked. The presenters will demonstrate how traffic on an actual CAN bus can be sniffed and replayed. Attendees at the conference will learn how Washtenaw Community College is collaborating with internal and external partners to expand cybersecurity education specific to the automotive industry by creating an Automotive Cybersecurity certificate program.

Cyndi Millns / Michael Galea
Professional Faculty of Cybersecurity, Washtenaw Community College
Identity Theft Through OSINT

Read Abstract

This talk will demonstrate how easy identity theft has become because of OSINT and the ability to easily social engineer and grab meta data. It will cover how an attacker uses OSINT to build targeted attacks. How an attacker builds a profile using software to represent their data about you. How an attacker uses data points to pivot from one source to another online. The target was a random target that was picked. Not only does it cover his current activity but his cached activity which enables attackers to target him. The story will show how an initial search to a complete PWNAGE was done on the individual because of a random blog that was discovered. This talk also shows how easily I was able to find his company’s email format, private IP addresses which could of completely allowed me to own his companies network because his company allowed BYOD. It will cover how you can better prepare and protect yourself.

Zee Abdelnabi
Security Researcher / Technical Cyber Security Manager, Big 4

SCOPE: Security Community of Practicing Experts Overview

Read Abstract

Learn about our member exclusive collaboration for all things security, from failings, to greatest successes and everything in-between.
The SCOPE community of practice is intended as a resource for individuals to share experiences and best practices, develop professionally, help others grow, gain knowledge from peers and get help with problems, in the interest of improving the state of security across all Merit Member organizations. SCOPE will also periodically showcase industry experts who will provide guidance and advice on issues affecting the security space.
This session ends with an open question opportunity to decide if a membership is right for your organization.

Kevin Hayes
Chief Information Security Officer, Merit Network
Merit Network: How to Use a Cyber Range Hub
Michigan Cyber Range
Merit Network
SPONSOR PRESENTATION: The Journey to 400Gbps Ethernet and Beyond

Read Abstract

While 100G Ethernet is still ramping up rapidly this year and next, it is projected that by the end of 2021, 400G Ethernet will represent the majority of Ethernet bandwidth shipped. Attendees will learn the drivers behind the journey to 400G, the pressures hyper-scale networks and cloud-builders are exerting that are changing the industry dynamic, and the roadblocks the IT industry is overcoming in the quest to go faster and faster. Darrin will discuss the ways more typical IT organizations will benefit from the pressure the hyper-scalers are applying. At 400G are we about to reach the practical limit to Moore’s Law?

Darrin Thomason
Director of Systems Engineering, WW Training and Certification, and Solutions Architect, Arista Networks

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: Amazon Web Services Overview

Read Abstract

Join our session for an overview of Amazon Web Services. We will provide a brief history on how AWS came in existence and information on how AWS is unique in the cloud computing landscape. We will also cover why higher education should partner with AWS for their cloud computing needs, and discuss on a high level the most popular cloud workloads that higher education organizations are using- with case study examples. We will end the presentation with an outline of a special AWS program available to help kick start an organization’s journey to the cloud on AWS.

Patrick Jones
AWS Higher Education Territory Manager, AWS
Transition & Refreshment Break
Mitigating Issues With Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Radar & LiDAR

Read Abstract

The autonomous vehicle is on its way. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind these vehicles will be on the road in greater numbers in the next few years. Although this is great, there is also a downside. These vehicles depend on their sensors to feed them dependable data. Without this, the cars potentially are bricks moving at very high speeds. The presentation will review for GPS and LiDAR the history, attacks, and defenses such that the evil-doers goal of taking over the vehicle control is excessively difficult and they will move onto the next model without these features included.

Charles Parker, II
Mentor / Adjunct Professor, Thomas Edison State University
Internet of Trusted Things: An Electrified Vehicle to Grid Perspective

Read Abstract

All major automotive manufacturers have announced aggressive plans to electrify their fleets within the next 5-7 years. The vast majority of these electric vehicles will have embedded connectivity, exchanging consumer and business data over edge and cloud computing networks with charging station operators, electric utilities, fleet managers, city traffic infrastructure and various third party service providers. In this highly interconnected and integrated transportation future, who and what can we trust to make decisions and take actions on our behalf? What is trust? Why does trust matter so much? How do we etch trust into the fabric of the Internet of Things to help make communities and cities smarter, cleaner and more accessible? Through interactive dialog with the audience, NextEnergy and Trillium Secure will present one possible solution; a trusted platform for connected and automated vehicles that supports multiple communication standards along with immutable blockchain architecture and intelligent machine learning.

Wayne Snyder / Shrankhala Jain
Director Technology Development, NextEnergy / Machine Learning Lead Engineer, Trillium Secure
Merit and Internet2 Partner to Offer Cloud Connect Service for the Merit Community

Read More

Educational institutions are faced with many challenges in determining a cloud strategy.  We all need to work together to ensure we can navigate the myriad options and configurations of cloud solutions.  Merit and Internet2 want to be part of helping figure that out for our members, by starting the conversation. A starting point for the conversation on cloud strategy could be how we connect to the cloud. Internet2 has announced its  Cloud Connect Service that allows members of the Merit community to leverage their investment in regional and national infrastructure to directly access leading dedicated cloud services such as Microsoft Express Route,  Amazon’s AWS Direct Connect and Google’s Direct Interconnect services.   Merit is partnering with Internet2 to make these three cloud service providers available to all of its members using a simple portal that greatly simplifies the  provisioning these connections. Internet2 is providing  multiple 10G connections distributed across the country.  After a year long trial period with over 30 campuses and dozens of regional providers,  the service has been announced as generally available. This talk will provide insights on how Merit members can take advantage of the new cloud connection environment that this new partnership represents.

George K. Loftus / Linda Roos
Associate Vice President Network Services / Sr. Director, State and Regional Networks, Internet2
Wireless Transformation and Refresh Coupled With 3rd Party Security Analysis and Penetration Testing Has Paved the Way For Next Generation Student Safety Solutions

Read Abstract

This presentation discusses investigation and replacement of a faltering 10+ year old Wireless network on a Michigan College Campus plagued with dead zones and insufficient capacity for 21st century customer demands. The wireless network footprint includes 15 buildings spread across three campuses. A series of competitive proofs of concept studies including emphasis on ease of management and integration with security systems, led to the selection of the controllerless Aerohive™ AP650 WAPs using the latest 802.11ax standard as the core of the new system. A full campus wireless network survey was completed using the Seven Signals method to assure maximum coverage and capacity. The requirements, specifications, and design is being augmented with a 3rd party penetration test to further guide a best practices implementation plan. Finally, the planning includes the integration of the new Wireless Network system with location-based marketing, in building wayfinding, and a campus police incident response system that identifies incident witnesses and persons of interest. Investigation methods, selection criteria, and various use cases will be discussed to help you should you chose to follow a similar path.

Patrick R. Turner / Daniel Heidt
Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Schoolcraft College / General Manager & Thought Leader, Access Interactive
K-12 Security Framework
Associate Superintendent for Technology, Gratiot-Isabella RESD / Chief Information Security Officer, Merit Network

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: Simplifying the Problem: Security Planning Through Vendor Management

Read Abstract

Strategic long-term planning for your organization’s information security is by no means an easy task. With factors like cost, user impact, solution longevity, support requirements, and deployment methods affecting each decision you make, piecing together the right solutions and vendors in order to achieve your security goals can be exhausting and time-consuming. During this presentation, attendees will learn concrete ways to tackle the complexities for security planning through vendor selection and management. We’ll discuss the common barriers faced during the vendor selection process, and you’ll discover strategies that will help you select and manage the right vendors for your organization.

Christopher Salyers
Senior Design Engineer, Yottabyte
Announcement: Expanding the Cyberecurity Eco-system
Dr. Joe Adams / Jim Darga
Vice President of Research and Cyber Security, Merit Network / Director, Pinckney Cyber Training Institute
12:30 – 1:15pm
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: What If? Throwing the DICE That Fuel Progress: A Wager on Diversity, Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship in the Workplace

Read Abstract

In this inspiring presentation, Aaron Dworkin shares his personal story which informed his life of social entrepreneurship including his founding of the Sphinx Organization, whose mission is to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts, service as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance and his current roles as an author, visual artist and founder of AaronAsk as well as serving as a Professor of Arts Entrepreneurship and Leadership at Michigan. He will delve into the important role that diversity, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship play in society, as well as their associated value and impact in the workplace. Aaron will also share strategies surrounding innovative leadership, core skillsets required for creative careers and the importance of staying relevant in the actively evolving landscape of the modern world.

Aaron Dworkin
Professor of Leadership & Entreprenuership, University of Michigan
Collaboration Session for Michigan Community Colleges

Read Abstract

This interactive discussion is all about Community College Information Security! With an ever-evolving threat landscape, it is more important than ever to come together to drive collaboration which will determine the best practices necessary to defend and protect collective interests. From a Community College prospective, we will discuss what’s on your mind…threat landscape, security controls, lessons learned, identity management issues, recommended products/services, human resource issues, physical security, compliance issues, vendor management, budget opportunities, successful policies, communication barriers, and perhaps, a speculation on what the future holds for us! Finally, we will network and find out who’s who and where’s where. What products are other community college’s using and why? The end goal is to establish a trusted, supportive community of information security professionals.

Paul Schwartz
Director of Info Sec, Lansing Community College
Incident Management – Best Practices

Read Abstract

In this talk, we cover the types of real-world attacks we commonly see that our customers get hit with. We talk about different approaches to proactively and retroactively respond to these events. We cover specific TTPs (tools, techniques, and procedure) which can be used within a variety of frameworks. We explain the value of the more formal DFIR approach, vs the quicker hunt, fix, and move on tactic. We provide best practices across.

Dr. Jared DeMott / Greg Hatcher / Nick Defoe / James King
Founder and Chief Hacking Officer / Engineers, VDA Labs
Experience From The Kresge Foundation’s Upgrade to Cisco Meraki

Read Abstract

The Kresge Foundation recently completed a major upgrade and migration to the Cisco Meraki platform across both of its office locations in Troy and Midtown Detroit. The upgrade involved consolidating wireless access points, firewalls and switches all under the Meraki umbrella, cleaning up the network infrastructure and relabeling all network resources to consistent naming conventions. The purpose of the presentation is to discuss lessons learned, pain points and best practices experienced during and after the migration. In addition, an overview of the Meraki Dashboard will be provided, highlighting menu options that someone at a manager’s level or above would benefit from.

Wendye D. Mingo
Managing Director of Information Technology, The Kresge Foundation
Join the Revolution! The Marshall Plan for Talent

Read Abstract

The Marshall Plan for Talent represents a statewide opportunity to draw down 69 Million dollars of funding to grow Michigan’s talent pipeline. The MPT will benefit all organizations, regardless of vertical in the state. This session will outline the opportunities available for all types of organizations, including institutions of learning and employers seeking to attract cyber talent organically. It will outline opportunities within established Talent Consortia for all and also share best practices for those looking to form or join a Talent Consortium. The success of this initiative is based on collaboration between K-12 schools, businesses, government and higher education.

Tonia Cronin
Michigan Cyber Range Hubs and Business Development Manager, Merit Network
Future Mobility Workforce: Defining the Skills of the Future

Read Abstract

As the automotive industry transforms into the future of mobility, so to changes the desired skill sets automotive engineers. An emerging industry requiring talented engineers with a hybrid mechanical, electrical, and systems engineers blended together with the programming and computer science engineering background. This presentation is a discussion on best approaches, skills gap identification and how we can better prepare students in the K12 systems for the automotive careers of tomorrow.

Jennifer Tisdale / Sarah Tennant
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Transportation Security Programs, GRIMM Cyber Research / Strategic Advisor of Cyber Initiatives, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: Not Another Cloud Presentation: Why Fortinet Has the Right Approach for SLED

Read Abstract

It seems today everyone’s focus is on ten different ways to protect your organization in the cloud. While a proper cloud migration strategy is important, Government and Educational organizations have different compliance and audit requirements that do not always make a migration the right option. Instead of taking our foot off of the gas for on on-premise security, let’s take a deep dive into what a proper security fabric should look like. Attendees can expect to see an approach to security that will show what true security and network integration looks like, spanning firewalls, switches, access points, network and security analytics, endpoint, SD-WAN, NAC, SIEM, cameras, phones, and more.

Greg Kreiling
Named Account Manager, SLED

SPONSOR PRESENTATION: Safety and Security in Cloud Communication Environments

Read Abstract

The transformation to the cloud has unleashed a new era of connectedness, productivity and promise. Foundational pillars of IP technology, affordable broadband and the proliferation of mobility enable the cloud economy. The paradigm shift to cloud communication and application integration is underway. How you protect and ensure the safety and security of data and users must evolve in concert. This presentation examines and reveals three such areas: identity spoofing, next generation emergency services, and software-defined cloud networking.

Mark Iannuzzi
President, TelNet Worldwide, Inc.
Transition & Refreshment Break
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Deploying Censorship Circumvention in the Network Infrastructure

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Censors block websites. Users circumvent with proxies. Censors block proxies. In this talk, we will describe an emerging proxy technology, called Refraction Networking, designed to be harder for censors to block than existing proxies. Instead of using individual proxy hosts that are easy to block, Refraction Networking places proxies in the network at participating ISPs. Users connect to innocuous websites whose connections pass the ISP proxy, which can invisibly redirect the user’s traffic to their intended (blocked) destination. To the censor, the user-proxy communication appears indistinguishable from legitimate traffic, making it difficult for them to block. Over the past several years, a group of researchers have been working to deploy the first Refraction Networking proxies in production networks and provide service to real users in censored countries. We will describe our existing deployment, initial results, and the future of the project.

Eric Wustrow
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder

Closing Remarks, Passport Drawing

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Don’t miss the Passport Drawing and thank you for being a part of Merit Member Conference 2019!

Kevin Hayes / Pierrette Widmeyer
Chief Information Security Officer / Director of Marketing and Communications, Merit Network





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Deploying Censorship Circumvention in the Network Infrastructure



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