UWF Innovation Institute launches Center for Cybersecurity

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

UWF Innovation Institute recently launched the Center for Cybersecurity, providing a hub for research on cybersecurity and opportunities for students to move into high-demand career fields through collaborative partnerships.

In February 2014, Dr. Pamela Northrup, executive director of Innovation Institute and associate provost for academic innovation, appointed UWF professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Sikha Bagui, as director of the Center. In this role, Dr. Bagui will represent the University’s multidisciplinary cybersecurity-related programs, certificates and services and coordinate the highly engaging activities for cybersecurity students.

“This new Center will create a perfect complement to the new cybersecurity programming we are developing at the baccalaureate and master’s level,” UWF Provost Martha Saunders said. “I envision important synergies with the community.”

“Cybersecurity is more than just IT,” said Bagui. “Cybersecurity has applications in the healthcare sector, telecommunications sector, financial sector, industrial sector and defense contracting. There is a critical need to fill 50,000 Cybersecurity jobs in just the federal government and private industry, and we are working to address these needs with our new programs and certificates.” 

The Center will promote a pipeline of academic programs and certificates that are deeply connected to the Northwest Florida technology community and industry.

Certificate in Cybersecurity
Focused on networking and security, the certificate in cybersecurity prepares professionals to become cybersecurity specialists. Students develop technical and problem-solving skills to help organizations defend their network systems.

Certificate in Intelligence Analysis (Online)
The certificate in intelligence analysis is designed to prepare students in analysis skills related to federal and law enforcement strategies to protect national security and national interests both domestic and abroad.

Certificate in Information Security Management
Designed to train professionals to interact effectively with technical data security professionals, the certificate in information security management offers business and as well as non-business majors a unique practical opportunity to identify themselves as trained specialists in this high-demand and knowledge-intensive field.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, specialization in Cybersecurity
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in cybersecurity prepares students to be leaders in the protection of data assets and analysis of potential threats to systems and networks. The curriculum focuses on the techniques, policies, operational procedures and technologies that secure and defend the availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality and non-repudiation of information and information systems.

Master of Science in Administration, specialization in Cybersecurity (Online)
The Master of Science in Administration with a specialization in cybersecurity is offered entirely online and designed to prepare students for leadership roles in cyber-related positions in public, nonprofit and private organizations. The program provides preparation to assume leadership positions in organizations by integrating the best practices in business and management with state-of-the-art cybersecurity theory and applications.

The Center will also feature a state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Battle Lab, allowing students in the program hands-on learning access to launch, detect and defeat hacker attacks in a simulated and controlled environment. Through networks independent of the University’s computer systems, students will be able to explore cybersecurity freely by forming competitive teams and exercise the role of an attacker and the defender. These types of exercises will provide practical learning experiences, further preparing students for long-term industry careers.

The Center was funded and made possible by an IT Performance Grant provided through the Florida Legislature. The University was one of four successful universities to receive the grant through an awards process in the State University System.

For additional information about the Center for Cybersecurity, visit www.uwf.edu/cybersecurity.

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