Dr. Joseph Bordogna
Chief Operating Officer
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Remarks and Introduction of
The Honorable Howard A. Schmidt
AACC/NSF Workshop on the Role of Community Colleges
in Cybersecurity Education
June 26, 2002
Good evening to everyone. I am delighted to welcome
you on behalf of the National Science Foundation.
I want to extend a special thanks to the American Association
of Community Colleges, the co-sponsors of this workshop,
and to George Boggs [President & CEO, AACC], who has
provided inspired leadership.
The psychologist and educator John Dewey said: "Education
is the journey, not the destination." I think he was
I agree that education, like the work of science, is
an ongoing activity. Lifelong learners never reach
the finish line. This is a good thing. Those of us
absorbed by an inexhaustible task are fortunate to
be challenged every day. In this sense, education
is truly a journey.
But education is also about destinations. It enables
us to accomplish specific goals: to upgrade our skills,
to advance professionally, to contribute to the economy,
to improve our society.
These are important destinations in our moment of time.
It is vital that students in the 21st century reach
their educational and professional goals, even goals
they might not see clearly at the start. At NSF we
frequently talk of preparing students for what may
be, as well as what is.
Our changing national circumstances bring a new urgency
and sense of purpose to this task. Homeland security
now joins economic prosperity and quality of life
as an objective worthy of our concerted and best efforts.
Your focus over the next two days will be on cybersecurity,
a critical lynchpin in our progress toward each of
Reliable, secure information and communication systems
underpin not only the functioning of government, but
also the functioning of industries and financial institutions,
our colleges and universities - indeed, nearly every
aspect of our everyday lives.
The events of September 11 only accelerated longstanding
concerns about the threat of cyberterrorism and the
vulnerability of the nation's information systems
and communications networks.
Worrisome signals are becoming all too familiar. We've
all seen the reports - putting the "costs" of security
breakdowns in the hundreds of millions, possibly the
billions of dollars. Attacks on commercial and government
Internet sites are increasing in frequency and sophistication.
Government information and communication systems have
come under special scrutiny. Studies have raised questions
about our ability to ensure the security of everything
from IRS information, the banking system, and sensitive
economic forecasts, to critical infrastructure and
military operations. These red flags have stimulated
efforts to address the problem, with this Workshop
and NSF's Scholarship for Service program being two
The recent 2002 Computer Crime and Security Survey,
conducted by the Computer Security Institute with
assistance from the FBI, adds weight to this unease.
Ninety percent of respondents reported computer
security breaches within a twelve-month period. Eighty
percent acknowledged financial losses caused
by computer breaches. The majority of these were large
corporations and government agencies.
Questions about the adequacy of the U.S. science, engineering,
and technology workforce are also rising to a chorus.
Reported shortages of skilled workers in the IT sector
are only one example. The need we all recognize, for
a cadre of professionals in computer security and
information assurance, is right at the top of the
The enormity of our cybersecurity challenge is clear.
But just as crises give authority to our concerns,
they also attest to our resilience and our strengths.
We can do this; we can meet the challenge.
Community colleges are up to this challenge and will
contribute greatly to its resolution. For example,
NSF's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program
has already received over a dozen proposals from community
colleges to improve cybersecurity education in the
wake of September 11.
I can't emphasize this point too strongly. The capability
of NSF to respond rapidly and intelligently to emerging
needs is the result of a long-term public investment
in basic scientific and engineering research and education.
For example, the U.S. science, technology, engineering
and mathematics community was able to respond rapidly
and flexibly to the events of September 11.
NSF-funded researchers were some of the first to arrive
at Ground Zero after the attacks and provide their
knowledge and expertise in an emergency situation.
Robin Murphy (University of South Florida), her students,
and their robots (which were specifically designed
for urban rescue operations), were called to aid in
the search operations.
Sequencing of the strain of anthrax found in letters
circulating in the U.S. Postal system was also made
possible through NSF support.
NSF-funded engineers immediately began and continue
to analyze the reasons for the complete collapse of
the World Trade Center buildings. Understanding the
structural damage will help prevent future catastrophes.
Social scientists with NSF support interviewed Americans
about how the country was coping with this disaster.
Science was clearly on the front lines. People, tools,
and knowledge, our stock and trade, produced an arsenal
of preparedness for this new era and the challenges
that it will bring.
This is the deeper meaning of preparedness
in our knowledge-intensive 21st century
world. National security depends critically on whether
the nation's researchers and institutions remain at
the forefront of discovery. And that, in turn, depends
on how well educated our citizens are, and how resilient
and nimble our research institutions can become.
The guiding vision of the National Science Foundation
is "enabling the nation's future through discovery
and education at the frontiers of knowledge." We are
now reaping some of the benefits
As the Chairman of the House Science Committee, Sherwood
Boehlert, correctly noted: "It's quite clear that,
just like the Cold War, the war against terrorism
will be waged - and won - in the laboratory just as
much as on the battlefield." I would add, "in the
classroom" as well.
Our community colleges have an essential role to play
in this effort.
First of all, they're everywhere! There are 1,166 community
colleges in the United States. They account for 44%
of all U.S. undergraduates and 45% of first-time freshmen.
Each year they award about 650,000 degrees and certificates.
U.S. community colleges enroll more than 10.4 million
students. They welcome learners of all ages, income
levels, and cultural backgrounds. They provide the
first entrance to higher education for most minorities
and first-generation college students. They also serve
returning students and workers seeking new career
opportunities or new skills in a changing economy.
Community colleges can respond quickly and flexibly
to emerging workforce needs, on both a regional and
national level. Many, for example, train students
for certifications in various information and communication
technology fields. These new credentials are likely
to increase in importance for employment in cybersecurity
NSF's Advanced Technology Education program works with
community colleges across the nation to improve the
skills of technology students. ATE encourages partnerships
among community colleges, four-year colleges and universities,
secondary schools, business, industry, and government.
The aim is a world-class technology workforce.
Information technology and telecommunications specialists
are often the front-line defense against cybersecurity
attacks. They are the foot soldiers in the battle
against cyberterrorism and we need to be absolutely
certain that they have the weapons they need to wage
the war successfully.
Community colleges can help to secure our cyber defenses
through innovative education and training programs.
I'm looking forward to learning about your innovative
ideas in workshop discussions.
And now I have the pleasure to introduce the man who
is at the top of everybody's most "wanted" list, the
Honorable Howard Schmidt.
Mr. Schmidt is "wanted" by the FBI, the CIA, the National
Security Advisor, and the Director of Homeland Security
because he is the Vice-Chair of President Bush's Critical
Infrastructure Protection Board - the Cybersecurity
He comes to that high-ranking position from the place
that was a pioneer in the cyber part of cybersecurity.
Mr. Schmidt was the chief security officer for the
Microsoft Corporation. In that capacity, he was the
overseer of the Security Strategies Group. He was
one of 29 industry leaders called to the White House
to meet with President Clinton on cybersecurity.
Previous to his Microsoft position, he was director
of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations,
Computer Forensic Lab and Computer Crime and Information
Before that the FBI actually got a hold of him. He
was housed at the head of the Computer Exploitation
Team at the National Drug Intelligence Center.
Mr. Schmidt is recognized as one of the pioneers in
the field of computer forensics and computer evidence
We are grateful that he's on our side. Please welcome