Thwarting Cyber Theft of Proliferation Sensitive Technologies in Academia


CRDF Global is hosting an in-person, 3-day workshop on cyber theft in academia in Tbilisi, Georgia with the objective of enhancing the capacity of academic institutions in Georgia and Armenia to defend against and respond to cyber threats posted by criminal entities seeking to acquire proliferation-sensitive research and design-data through unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. This training will engage university information technology leaders, cybersecurity professionals, and other stakeholders from teaching and research institutions of higher education.

The training will start on June 6, 2022 and will end on June 8, 2022.

Additionally, CRDF Global will offer grants through its Cyber Security Small Grants Program for the qualifying institutions. Financial resources will be made available for institutions to implement the recommended controls and safeguards. CRDF Global will receive applications and then award grants to research institutions and universities that have sent representatives to the Workshop. If you are interested in applying, please click here to review requirements and eligibility.
The training will:

Enable and mobilize participants to identify and institutionalize the detection of specific Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) used by criminal threat actors to engage in espionage with a focus on insider threats and supply chain vulnerabilities.
Utilize a combination of presentations and case studies that will contribute to the development of a familiarity with the specific social engineering techniques utilized by hackers and criminals to gain trust and penetrate cyber networks, specifically with the intent to acquire academic data and intellectual property.

Cyber Theft Grant Program

A workshop itself is not sufficient to implement the recommended, capacity-building to implement the recommended controls and safeguards. Sustainable solutions and capacity-building may require additional resources to apply the knowledge and skills from the Workshop to a specific institution.
CRDF Global will accept applications and award several grants to research institutions and universities who have sent representatives to the workshop.
The grant can be used for equipment—and associated installation fees—, materials, and supplies that improve information and cyber security.
Click here for more information on our grant awards.


Dr. Eric J. Novotny – President of the Faculty and Hurst Memorial Senior Professorial Lecturer at the American University, Washington, DC, and founding director of the graduate program in cybersecurity.
Ms. Simin Kargar – Doctoral Candidate at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John Hopkins University, and expert in digital threat analysis.
Mr. Amir Rashidi – Director of Digital Rights and Security at the Miaan Group, and expert in identifying adversarial groups and methods.

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June 6, 2022
Day 1 – Workshop Introduction and Objectives
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
1. What is Cyber Theft?
2. Technologically-sensitive Assets
3. Threats and Threat Actors
4. Cybersecurity Policies
June 7, 2022
Day 2 – Topics: Threats, Assets
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
MODULE 1: Goals, objectives, roadmap
Main goal—capacity-building to protect information assets in a research setting
Objectives—Understand the problem; understand the threats; recognize vulnerabilities; learn how to assess cyber maturity; target specific ways to mitigate risk
MODULE 2: Cyber conflict and threats
Introduction—how to think about cybersecurity—a framework
Conflicting terms and definitions—sort these out
Threats and threat actors—intentions, motivations, TTPs
MODULE 3: Cyber conflict and threats, continued
Threats and threat actors—intentions, motivations, TTPs, continued
Real life examples from guest speakers
MODULE 4: What to protect
How to identify and categorize intellectual property
How to specific the value of information assets
Ways of modelling or conceptualizing controls over assets

Day 2 – Exercise 1: Cyber Incident Response
2:00 PM-4:30 PM
TTX—Garrulus University, Part 1
Divide into small groups; read through and understand the scenario
Groups have to assess what may have happened and how to respond and recover
Groups will report their findings and recommendations

June 8, 2022
Day 3 – Topics: Risk Management Strategies, Controls, and Safeguards
10:00 AM-1:30 PM
MODULE 6: Roadmap and Recap
Recap of goals and objectives of the workshop
Recap of lessons learned from TTX, Part 1
Roadmap for Day 3
MODULE 7: Risk Management Principles
How to assess risk
How to do security assessments and audits
Introduction to the cybersecurity assessment tool
MODULE 8: Controls and Safeguards
Using the NIST framework with the cybersecurity assessment tool
How to set priorities
How to realize economies and optimal allocation of resources

Day 3 – Exercise 2: Cyber Assessment and Action Plan
2:00 PM-4:30 PM
TTX—Garrulus University, Part 2
Divide into same groups as Part 1; read and understand the scenario
Groups must assess what to recommend and how to implement the plan
Groups will report their findings and recommendations
Open discussion of topics of interest to the attendees
Summary and wrap-up

This training is offered free of charge for a select number of participants. Please register at your earliest convenience on this website or contact Ana Cristina Ferrusca at no later than April 22, 2022 to indicate your interest in attending. CRDF Global will confirm your enrollment via e-mail as soon as possible.
Please note that attendance is highly limited and prospective participants’ credentials will be evaluated to determine eligibility.

Register by April 22, 202211:59 PM


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