Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 11-23-2021


Telecommunications Systems Management/Cybersecurity and Network Management

Examining Committee Member

Warren Edminster, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Randall Joyce, Instructor, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Brandon Dixon, Instructor, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Carlos Lopez, Instructor, Committee Member


With cybersecurity constantly in the media outlets with breaches, cybercrime, and cyberwarfare, it has become a significant concern for all. One of the most recent breaches in the summer of 2021 was the Colonial Pipeline breach, which has proven the country's reliance on these industrial control systems and networking. The systems were taken for ransom by a new type of ransomware written in a different programming language. Although the Colonial Pipeline breach was quickly addressed, the impact of the gas shortage and the response time were alarming at triaging the breach. However, this attack showed the public how dangerous ransomware could be, mainly when groups target crucial supply chains and infrastructure critical to the functioning of a nation's economy. The only proper "solution" to these attacks is a standard solution to many information security issues, user training. However, the reality of the problem is that even if computers were one hundred percent secure and infallible machines, which they are not, user error could still compromise an entire system.