TIFFIN, OH (WTOL) - Cyber security is one of the biggest concerns for businesses and consumers. And while the modern maritime industry relies on being connected to the web, it is also the biggest target for cyber attacks.
"You could sink a ship, you can ground a ship, my students did a GPS spoofing project, very easy to do that as well, so you can mess with navigation. So basically ships are connected, so they're vulnerable." said Scott Blough, executive director of the Center for Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at Tiffin University.
Which is exactly why the U.S Coast Guard has added maritime cyber defense to their operations.
For the last two days, Kevin Lunday, commander of cyber defense for the coast guard, met with representatives from the Navy, Air Force, eight universities and seven countries at the 8th Annual Maritime Symposium at Tiffin University.
The coast guard actively defends the Coast Guard network enables cyber operations.
"And number three, which is really the most important, is to protect the maritime transportation system. Because it is vital to our economic prosperity and security of this nation given how much we really on it." said Rear Admiral Kevin Lunday, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command.
The symposium acts as an applied research discussion where experts bring up ideas, practices and concerns in the ever changing cyber defense world.
The biggest take away is finding a balance between reliance on technology, and resilience in case that technology goes down.
"I think each of us can be thinking about what our back up plans that we have, and if something does go wrong, how can we be aware of our surroundings and keep operating," said Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District.
And the event gave current students at Tiffin University, the opportunity to discuss with front line professionals about the future of their intended careers.
"And they're always looking for more and more people to hire, which is why it's a great networking experience to be here, and meet with these professionals and see what they're looking for." said Bane Adkins, a sophomore at Tiffin University.
More information on Tiffin University's Cyber Defense and Forensic program can be found here.