Diane Janosek speaks at “Threat to Global Security by Cyber Attacks in Space” event


Diane Janosek spoke to Rowan students through Zoom for the “Threat to Global Security by Cyber Attacks in Space” presentation on Tuesday, Feb 28. Janosek is an award-winning cybersecurity leader, commandant, and training director for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) National Cryptologic School. She is a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service and serves as NSA’s Compliance Deputy.

Janosek discussed the implications of cyberattacks on global security and drew from her history in cybersecurity to offer potential ways to combat this threat. The event was sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as International Studies, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research.

Janosek explored the topic of space governance, the history of space activity, concerns of aggressors in space and the future of space. The future of space includes space travel, space mining, IOT devices and nanosatellites. The importance of having strong security in space was heavily emphasized by Janosek.

“Definitely, space is not just the next frontier. It is the current environment. It’s now set up a space command. It’s definitely just as important as land and sea,” Janosek said.

Janosek explained how strategic intelligence helps ensure global security and how to understand what global threats are. 

“Strategic intelligence is being able to project what threats are going to be coming your way… Strategic intelligence is what gives you the ability to be prepared for global threats when they do come,” Janosek said.

Janosek also explained that there are many different skills needed in space security and cybersecurity, so the industry is constantly bringing in new people if students are interested. In her office, there are network security, engineers, computer scientist, policy lawyers and graphic designers. 

“This area of space security and cybersecurity is phenomenal because everyone usually has other experiences and they layer it on, and then they come into this field. So it’s because there is so much opportunity and so much growth,” Janosek said. “And if you’re thinking about going into a field, space is a really phenomenal layer.”

The event was hosted by James Heinzen, a professor of history and a Hollybush Institute director. Carla Lewandowski, the coordinator of the event, is an associate professor for law and justice studies.

“The reason I really wanted [Janosek] to come is because I think so much of what we consider as threats are on the ground… it’s a new perspective on the threat from space that I don’t think many people are considering,” Lewandowski said.

Lewandowski knew the event would be interesting to many students that are pursuing a career in cybersecurity, but she also thinks that this event can help everyone.

“Every little bit that you can learn about might eventually help you in some way that you don’t even realize. It might even just be a talking point for somebody. I think even just an awareness of it will help all our students in the future,” Lewandowski said.

The event was funded by a three-year Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Program (UISFL) grant given by the U.S. Department of Education. International Studies have hosted a distinguished lecture for the last two years, with this being the third and last as the grant lasts for three years. The project integrates global health, health threats, environmental dangers and emergency response into the international studies program.

There are no current plans to re-up the grant after the final year. 

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