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Bryce Barrette

SIS Graduate Takes on Cyber Security Prediction

The College of Security and Intelligence Studies graduated its first Master of Science class this past May. Bryce Barrette was one of those students and is focused on identifying cyber-attacks before they do damage to businesses.

Barrette acknowledges it’s an uphill battle since all signs point to increased cyber usage and increased activity by cyber-criminals. Cyber security company Symantec recently released a report indicating that 429 million personal records were exposed in 2015, many through mega-breaches in companies. The report headline reads: “One new zero-day discovered on average every week in 2015, twice the rate of a year ago as advanced attackers exploit, stockpile and resell high-value vulnerabilities”. Factor in that every one of the five major industries in the world use computing in their business and there is serious risk.

“Security in cyberspace is critical to maintain and enhance the success of companies as a whole. Right now metrics is the best way to do that,” said Barrette. “In my master’s degree, I wanted to design a program that would improve the predictability of cyber-attacks and warn security managers that the probability of an attack is high. Ideally, steps can then be taken to stop or lessen the impact of the attack.”

According to Barrette, the problem with current models is that they are static. His predictive model works by relating security metrics through mathematics and semi antonymous selection. When metrics relate to high enough degrees, they are placed into a related grouping or “security ontologies" that are used to intelligently assess and predict the health and security of that system. He explains the goal of this model is to simplify and help improve what the metrics can tell security personnel.

Barrette will present his work at the SAM Expo in Las Vegas July 25-29. He plans to continue improving the software program and pursue publication. 

Additionally, Barrette has accepted a position with GE Digital in San Ramon, CA as a security and compliance engineer.

“I chose Embry-Riddle’s program in Global Security because it was the only one I found that offered a global perspective. In cyber security, you have to look beyond our borders which really didn’t happen in my criminal justice undergraduate degree,” said Barrette. “The best part was small classes which gave me great access to professors like Dr. Michael Bozeman and Dr. Gregory Vert, who was my committee chair. My study abroad to Isreal and the focused courses on cyber security definitely positioned me to be selected for the new job. I’m excited for the next step.”

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