CS XXXX: Cybersecurity in the Cloud; Virtual Communication Media

Light, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Wu, David, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

At the time that this is being written, the world is in the COVID-19 pandemic. Work, schools, activities, etc. have all moved online, and it’s important to understand how this impacts everyone now doing things virtually. The following two papers explore ways we can educate ourselves about growing fields in computer science, and how we can be aware of the effects from this new lifestyle of online communication.
The technical report outlines a course that teaches students about cybersecurity in the cloud. This course was proposed to the University of Virginia to address a need seen in the Computer Science department. Currently, there are two courses offered on cybersecurity, and one on cloud computing, but isn’t one covering the overlap between the courses. The proposal details why this topic is important, provides four weeks of material, and lists a full semester’s topics. The topics ranged from general cloud and cybersecurity information, to specific security problems in the cloud, AI, and IOT.
Because of the rapid adoption of online workspace services in response to the pandemic, I knew there would be repercussions felt in the workplace beyond the obvious change to telecommuting. In the STS research report, I go over different platforms of virtual communication, and what services they offer. All the ones that I touch on provide videoconferencing, and some have additional features such as instant messaging and group functionality. Then, by looking at research done by different companies or universities, I was able to discover the underlying effects that a virtual workspace has on individuals, most of which are negative.
The technical project was well received by UVA faculty; my group was able to demonstrate the role that this class would play in conjunction with the currently available computer science courses. By laying out the information the course would cover, it was evident that a course like this would be a beneficial addition. My STS research helps open up conversation about how we should approach virtual communication media. Many people everywhere feel the burnout of staring at a screen all day, and miss face-to-face communication, but usually can’t give a specific reason. By explaining why online workspaces lead to issues, more work can be done to look for solutions.
I would like to thank Professor Ferguson for his work in helping me tremendously through this process. Additionally, thank you to my project group Hoon Kim, Ranjodh Sandhu, Karanvir Jassal, Taylor Swift, and Taco Bell.

BS (Bachelor of Science)

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: David Wu
STS Advisor: Sean Ferguson
Technical Team Members: Hoon Kim, Ranjodh Sandhu, Karanvir Jassal

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