UWF, Leidos partner to launch cybersecurity infrastructure lab
The University of West Florida and Leidos, a Fortune 500® science and technology leader, have launched the Leidos Cybersecurity Infrastructure Lab in UWF’s Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. The new lab is purpose-built to provide students with hands-on cybersecurity education in realistic digital environments.
“The cybersecurity skills gap is an economic and national security issue,” said Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering Dean Jaromy Kuhl. “We are pleased that along with UWF, Leidos prioritizes growing the number of talented cybersecurity professionals by supporting students with hands-on, real-world experience that they gain in the Leidos Cybersecurity Infrastructure Lab.”
The goal of the lab is to train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and intuitively help address a critical workforce gap nationwide. As the White House has noted, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals tops 700,000 in the U.S. according to some estimates.
“We’re launching and expanding activities and investments that directly accelerate the upskilling and reskilling of cybersecurity professionals in support of our government customers,” said Dan Voce, Leidos senior vice president for growth and integration. “Leidos explored Pensacola as a strategic location and immediately recognized the high caliber talent at UWF. We are heeding the call from the White House to address the critical cybersecurity skills gap, and the new Cybersecurity Infrastructure Lab at UWF is a big step forward in this effort.”
The lab includes a cloud based, enterprise platform that is modeled to represent an unclassified government enterprise platform. Students will receive hands-on experience in the areas of digital modernization, updated data processing techniques, modeling and simulation, capability and capacity planning assessments. Students will also gain familiarity with Amazon Web Services and multiple other vendor training tools and training modules. This exposure to application development and testing environments enables valuable industry experience and positions the students for internships supported by Leidos with the University’s collaboration.