Michael Thompson

Cyber Security Analyst




Room 1047 ERF



The United States economy, as well as large portions of the critical infrastructure that support it, now depends on a working Internet for normal operations. The Internet has enabled an always-on, always-connected infrastructure that society depends on daily. Though the Internet seems omnipresent in modern life, it has its own physical infrastructure that is critical to its operations and is not well-understood by public- and private-sector decision makers. Internet infrastructure is primarily composed of data centers of varying size and type and the fiber-optic connections that connect these centers to each other. Data centers and fiber lines are generally designed to be invisible to the casual passerby but are increasingly present in communities nationwide, and their concentration can itself become a vulnerability to Internet resilience. Recent studies have shown that physical, kinetic events can have cascading consequences to Internet service availability just as Internet events can have cascading consequences to physical infrastructure. In this talk, I will give an overview of Internet infrastructure, data center types, and basic Internet-to-geographical infrastructure mappings. I will discuss studies being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security to address Internet resilience and look critically at how geographical concentration of resources can influence vulnerability profiles.


Mike Thompson is a Cyber Security Analyst. He is the lead developer on a patent pending moving target defense technology. He has lead and contributed to several projects including a variety of research for Argonne and analysis projects for the Department of Homeland Security. He specializes in programming, penetration testing, linux system administration, and datacenter/network operations and analysis. In previous lives, Mike has taught high school and community education classes on technology, sound engineering, and ESL – he was an Operations technician and System Administrator for Google during the early days of their great global datacenter expansion– and he has sold roadside produce all over the upper Midwest. His eclectic experience gives him a unique insight into the problems of computer security and privacy. Mike studied computer science as part of the SFS program at UIC.

Host: Dr. Sybil Derrible

Launch Event