BY CHARLES PEACOCK
This past Thursday Mar 14, the first ever Data Diode Day was held in the Martire Forum center. The event was hosted by Owl Cyber Defense and the School of Computer Science and Engineering at Sacred Heart University.
“This event provides an opportunity for our country’s future tech innovators, cyber security professionals, software engineers, and computer science gurus to show off their smarts, win an internship, and earn recognition as a top tech student in the New England/Tri-State area. Teams will be judged by and have the opportunity to network with some of the region’s top tech and innovation companies (datadiodeday.com).”
This event gave undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in computer science, coding, IT systems and technology in general, and opportunity to showcase their skills.
Last year, a colloquium was held in conjunction with Owl Cyber Defense. Sacred Heart and the School of Computer Science and Engineering set up this past Thursday’s event to further their relationship with Owl, with plans to make Data Diode Day an annual competition.
“This event is a great opportunity to showcase what our students can offer in the work force, and shows that Sacred Heart has talent,” said Director of Cybersecurity Programs, Professor Sajal Bhatia.
Scott Coleman, director of marketing and product management at Owl Cyber Defense led the event with a brief explanation of what they do at Owl.
“Our products are designed to stay up and running, and they keep any organizations data secure with our state of the art diode technology,” said Coleman.
Coleman went on to describe what exactly a data diode does. “A data diode is a one-way transfer of data that allows for unmatched cyber security,” said Coleman.
Three teams comprised of students participated to come up with a new use case of a data diode. The focus was the healthcare domain, and how a data diode would benefit any aspect of healthcare technologies.
“The medical technology industry is one that is saving lives everyday, however some of these life saving machines can be easily hacked without the use of a data diode,” said, sophomore Cody Pfeiffer, a member of team one.
The three teams came in with the goal of winning the three judges votes in order to secure a shadow internship with a department of their choice.
Dr. Irfan Ahmed of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Scott Coleman and Brian Romansky of Owl Cyber Defense judged the contest.
Each presentation lasted around 15 to 20 minutes, each containing different ideas for Owl’s data diode and how it could benefit the technology within the healthcare realm.
After each team had presented, Avni Kapadia, Nicholas Sims, Nicholas Carta, Jonathan Spiro, and Mandar Shivapurkar of team two took home first place for their use of data diodes in hospitals plan.
“I’m grateful and couldn’t have won without the collaboration and efforts of my teammates,” said junior Avni Kapadia.
Like Avni, sophomore Alex Pearl, a computer science major saw this as a great opportunity. “Overall, the networking aspect of this event was excellent and got us connected with future leads as well as having the opportunity at internships in the future,” said Pearl.
The plan is for Data Diode Day to be held annually, following its first appearance this past Thursday, providing undergraduates and post graduates a great opportunity in the field of Computer Science and Engineering.