G2 Ops and Dr. Chon Abraham Awarded Grant for Enhanced Shipbuilding Cyber Protection

G2 Ops and Dr. Chon Abraham Awarded Grant for Enhanced Shipbuilding Cyber Protection

G2 Ops, Inc. and Dr. Chon Abraham have received a research grant from the Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation to investigate how shipbuilding and repair industries can leverage digital transformation technologies and ensure cybersecurity compliance.

Virginia Beach, VA (May 16, 2023) – The Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation has awarded a competitive research grant to Dr. Chon Abraham of William & Mary University and G2 Ops, Inc. The grant, from Virginia’s Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, supports research into how the shipbuilding and repair industries can benefit from digital transformation technologies and ensure conformance with state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection.

The research project will involve a partnership with a Norfolk shipbuilding firm, focus on the security of cyber-physical systems, and explore barriers to technology adoption in the maritime industry concerning compliance with cybersecurity standards and best practices.

Implementing cybersecurity best practices can be as complex as cyber threats themselves. As shipbuilders modernize through cloud computing, new operational technologies, robotics, and artificial intelligence, cyber threat risk increases dramatically. It’s a daunting challenge for shipbuilders to keep up with cyber-protection standards, such as maintaining the DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) necessary for contractors to be awarded projects within the Federal Government’s Defense Industrial Base (DIB). Contractors must self-certify CMMC compliance, but their ability to compete for DoD contracts is inhibited by a lack of explicit processes.

“Alignment to the CMMC strengthens national security through the supply chain for our defense industry,” said Tracy Gregorio, CEO of G2 Ops, Inc. “Adopting that certification standard is crucial to Virginia’s maritime industries. The support of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative will help us standardize assessment processes and improve regional competitiveness.”

That support will help identify opportunities to standardize and streamline CMMC adoption, thereby increasing the competitive presence of this important portion of Hampton Roads’ regional economy.

“This project is a continuation of an ongoing thread of cybersecurity research,” said Dr. Chon Abraham. “This next step should help shipbuilding firms eliminate time needed to create templates for CMMC guidance requirements. By researching the compliance certification processes, we can identify and eliminate bottlenecks and create guidance for best practices.”

About Tracy Gregorio and G2 Ops, Inc.

Tracy Gregorio is CEO of G2 Ops, a cybersecurity and IT engineering services company serving government and commercial enterprises. She chairs the Cybersecurity Committee of the Virginia Ship Repair Association and served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Commonwealth Cyber Initiative. She earned an M.S. in Computer Science from Old Dominion and a B.S. from Virginia Tech.

About Dr. Chon Abraham

Dorothea La “Chon” Abraham, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Mason School of Business at William & Mary University, where she teaches and researches cybersecurity, business intelligence, and data management. She is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and earned a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Old Dominion. She currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel and Cyber Officer in the United States Air Force Reserve.

About the Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative

The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) is Virginia’s main access point for cybersecurity research, innovation, workforce development, and news. In this community, researchers find funding and collaboration, students discover diverse career possibilities, and new innovations come to life.


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