Intel students surprise security firm with project

The city of Erie and Mercyhurst in particular has always had a close relationship with Ireland.

Between the Sisters of Mercy and the sister-city relationship between Dungarvan and Erie, the ties between Mercyhurst and the Emerald Isle have always been strong.
Now five seniors have added another link in the chain.

Eric Pelosi, Andrea Javor, Scott Christian, Jeffrey Haney, and Clair Riley completed a research project for one of the world leaders of mobile security, AdaptiveMobile of Dublin.

According to Pelosi, the project was “to determine the financial cost of cyber attacks to mobile service providers, like Time Warner.”

Christian added that the project was to help “see what direct effects, if any, the attacks had on the providers.”

The project was not easy at times.

“We did have some issues with communication,” Javor said. “The time zones were difficult to coordinate at times.”

The team was only able to communicate with their decision maker, AdaptiveMobile CEO Brian Collins, through email. In addition, Pelosi stated, “he’d be flying all over the world” while the project was going on. “He was actually in Singapore when we presented, and we had to present over the phone.”

This was a departure from the typical approach of the Strategic Intelligence class where the decision maker will actually come in and view a 45-minute presentation complete with PowerPoint or Prezi.

The project had some high points as well.

“The fact that our project was useful to the company was great,” said Christian. “They were actually able to use the data we collected, which we thought surprised them.”

Collins, in a letter to President Gamble, stated that “… this analysis was of the highest standard, and the fact that it was presented by current students dictates it should receive even further plaudits. … As a reader of over 50 of these types of reports a year, I can confirm this work would definitely qualify as top quartile.”

The students also would like to extend their public thanks to Professor Kris Wheaton, who helped direct them at times throughout the project.

“He helped us work out some of the communication problems which emerged at times,” Javor said, “and overall, was just a fantastic help.”