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RIT named a national center for cyber defense

Rochester Institute of Technology has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research through 2022, officials said.

Those with the designation seek to advance cyber defense technologies, policies and practices to help protect the country from a cyber-attack.

“Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so,” said Lynn Hathaway, National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research Program Manager, NSA, in a statement. “Education is the key to promoting these ideals.”

Today there are 142 institutions with the designation of Cyber Defense Education and 72 hold a Cyber Defense Research designation, but RIT is one of 39 schools that has both designations.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security both sponsor the National Centers for Academic Excellence. RIT is already certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2021, officials said.

“We are very proud to join this group of research elites working to contribute to the protection of our national information infrastructure,” said Bo Yuan, professor and chair of RIT’s Department of Computing Security in a statement. “Since first designated as a CAE-CD in 2006, the CAE-R designation has been one of our high achieving goals to strive for.”

Two years ago RIT made a push for research in the area of cybersecurity, deeming it a signature research area of the school.

“RIT has a proven track record of training and supplying talented and skilled professionals needed by our nation’s security agencies to protect our cyber infrastructure,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement. “The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have rightly recognized RIT’s leadership in cybersecurity, and this designation will enable RIT to train a ready workforce to defend and protect our nation’s cyber infrastructure and other assets.”

Since 2015 the university—along with the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences—has invested $2 million in cybersecurity research and founded the Center for Cybersecurity, according to RIT.

“We want to recognize all the faculty who have worked to develop RIT into a top-tier cybersecurity research university,” said Anne Haake, dean of GCCIS in a statement. “Everything from our undergraduate and graduate computing security degree programs to our work with outreach and extracurricular competitions have all led to these CAE designations.”

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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