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Indiana University earns cybersecurity designations from NSA, Department of Homeland Security

  • April 21, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Stellar faculty research and teaching have again earned Indiana University national recognition as one of the top institutions for applied cybersecurity technology, education and policy guidance.

The National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have issued renewals of IU’s designations as both a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education and Center for Academic Excellence Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research through academic year 2021.

IU was initially certified as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education in 2007 and as a Center for Academic Excellence Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research in 2008 (the first year this certification was offered). IU is one of just a handful of universities to have dual designations spanning more than one campus.

IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research coordinated the application process, working closely with faculty and staff at the IU School of Informatics and Computing, both on the Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campuses.

"First and foremost, these certifications are an indication of the outstanding work being done by the School of Informatics and Computing faculty and staff, who are some of the nation’s foremost cybersecurity experts," said Von Welch, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research director. "It's a stamp of endorsement on the classes, course work and the curriculum they’ve put together and also on the research they’re doing in this field."

Steven Myers, associate professor of computer science and informatics, leads the School of Informatics and Computing's team of eight faculty members working in the areas of systems security, privacy, cryptography and usable security systems -- one of the largest groups dedicated to security research in the country. The school offers broad-based programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level.

"The School of Informatics and Computing is dedicated to a comprehensive coverage of cybersecurity, ranging from mathematical foundations to systems issues to privacy. We greatly appreciate and value the designations from NSA and DHS that recognize the quality of our program," said School of Informatics and Computing Dean Bobby Schnabel. 

Lynn Hathaway, the NSA's national Center for Academic Excellence Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research program manager, had high praise for IU, saying the university's "ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure." Presentation of a certificate will take place at a formal ceremony in June.

"The NSA and DHS renewals are a testament to the university's ongoing commitment to cybersecurity from all levels, whether it's policy, teaching or research," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO. "IU has a long history of leadership in this increasingly important field, from our faculty preparing the future cybersecurity workforce to Von's team providing guidance to policy-makers around the world."

The NSA created the Center for Academic Excellence program in 1998 as a way to reduce vulnerability in the U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cybersecurity, thereby fostering a workforce of well-trained professionals. In fact, students attending Center for Academic Excellence-designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

IU has a strong history of cybersecurity leadership. Highlights include:

  • In 1998, IU formed the University Information Security Office, part of the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, to provide security analysis, development, education and guidance related to Indiana University's information assets and information technology environment.
  • In 2000, the university founded the School of Informatics -- the first of its kind -- offering an interdisciplinary program with a strong security focus, where technology fuels discoveries in fields as varied as music and microbiology.
  • IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research came along in 2003, interweaving technical and policy expertise with Indiana University's wide knowledge base in computer science, informatics, accounting and information systems, criminal justice, law, organizational behavior, public policy and other disciplines, and IU's extensive practical experience in cybersecurity.
  • The IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology has offered a network security certificate in applied security for the past 10 years.

"IU's expertise in cybersecurity is all encompassing -- we teach it, we practice it, we research it," said Scott Orr, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research associate director, who led IU's application process. "Having been a part of the process since the very beginning, it's interesting to see just how strongly our program has grown over the last eight or 10 years. I think these certifications are a testament to that growth and especially to the faculty and staff in the various schools who have really made this happen."

About the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research is a research center affiliate with the Pervasive Technology Institute. The center works closely with its partner organizations at the university: CLEAR Health Information, the Maurer School of Law, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics and Computing, Research and Education Networking-Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the University Information Policy Office, and the University Information Security Office.

About the IU School of Informatics and Computing

Founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States, the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing is dedicated to research and teaching across a broad range of computing and information technology, with emphasis on science, applications and societal implications. The school's programs include computer science, informatics, and information and library science. The school, which includes locations at Bloomington and IUPUI, administers a variety of bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs, including the first-ever Ph.D. in informatics. The school is dedicated to excellence in education and research, to partnerships that bolster economic development and entrepreneurship, and to increasing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in computing and technology.

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The National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have renewed IU's cybersecurity designations through 2021. | Photo by Indiana University

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Ceci Jones Schrock