April 28, 2019


Photo courtesy of Penn State

Anne Toomey McKenna '94, Distinguished Scholar of Cyber Law, Dickinson Law and Penn State's Institute for CyberScience co-hire and professor of practice, was was one of the leaders of the 2019 Penn State Hack Response Simulation Competition. The simulation was designed to help train the next generation of cybersecurity experts by giving them a multidisciplinary, start-to-finish and hands-on experience in tackling a hack.

McKenna developed the hack response scenario and worked with Russ Houseknecht, lecturer, information sciences and technology, to design of the simulation, said the idea for the exercise was inspired partially by her own experience as a trial lawyer representing clients over the years who struggled with compliance, security, and data privacy in their computer systems as her clients increasingly found themselves vulnerable to hacks and other forms of data breaches.

"Time and time again, I would see situations where clients would be faced with a data breach, but they would either not understand either the information technology aspects of it - the cybersecurity technical piece - or not understand the legal compliance piece of it," McKenna said. "I recognized in my own practice area that it was very hard to find lawyers who understood the technology and very hard to find people in the technology area, who understood the legal requirements and also electronic evidence preservation."

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