Seminar: Modern Mainframe Security

Elizabeth Schweinsberg headshot



Elizabeth Schweinsberg

US Digital Service

Tuesday October 5, 2021

4:30 pm

Location: Patrick F. Taylor Hall room 1200


Modern and Mainframe aren’t often found in the same sentence, but the image of an antiquated room-sized computer doesn’t reflect what mainframes are today.  2020 highlighted that mainframes are behind important services, such as unemployment insurance, and the incoming generation of Infosec professionals should be aware of this career path.

Mainframe security is often relegated to compliance and auditing or full disk encryption.  Modern infosec topics of vulnerabilities, pen testing, and threat detection are not well represented.   In fact, there are only 2 CVEs for the most popular operating system, IBM’s zO/S.  There are plugins for testing parts of mainframes for popular pen testing tools, but there is limited information on digital forensics and threat detection.  But people must do it, right?

This talk will give an overview of Mainframes and the current state of offensive security for them.  It continues with tales of developing a threat detection program and reasons why you should consider learning more about mainframes in your career.



Elizabeth Schweinsberg is a Digital Services Expert with the US Digital Service after 9 years in corporate threat detection and incident response with Facebook and Google.  She works to keep the internal networks safe from malware, hackers, and the Internet. Ms. Schweinsberg has been in the computer industry for over a decade and in digital forensics since 2005 in both the Government and private sector. When not behind the computer, Ms. Schweinsberg can often be found behind a book or sewing machine.