University of Delaware

University of Delaware Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

UD’s intensive cyber defense curriculum has led to a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) designation by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Joining other respected institutions including Georgetown, the Naval Academy, and Princeton, UD’s designation emphasizes the university’s dedication to creating cyber defense professionals through higher education.

CAE program manager for the NSA, Karen Leuschner outlined, “Your 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.” She continued, “The critical shortage of professionals with these skills highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.”

The dedication UD has made to create cybersecurity professionals is clear in its curriculum and practices in programs such as the online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Kenneth Barner, chair of UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, describes the curriculum, “We established these programs in response to the critical need for a workforce skilled in the latest theories and tools required to address the ever-changing array of cybersecurity problems.”

But UD’s dedication to cyber excellence doesn’t stop there. Stephan Bohacek, associate professor in electrical and computer engineering, who helped the school attain this special 5-year designation, mentions that UD’s qualifications exceeded the minimum requirements for recognition.

This extraordinary surpassing of standards is the undeniable result of the University of Delaware Cybersecurity Initiative (UD CSI) that was established in 2014. Also located in between the nation’s capitol and the city that never sleeps, UD CSI aims to provide general research, best practices, and protocols along with increasing the amount of cybersecurity experts for our nation’s future.

The initiative takes part in several actions including annual outreach events such as the annual cybersecurity summer camp and participation in hacking competitions. In an effort to foster the continuation of cybersecurity education for both students and faculty, this same initiative offers funding opportunities for faculty for cyber-related research. Recently, the initiative has also participated in a series of lectures that consisted of guest speakers who are experts in their cyber fields.

“All of these programs are aimed at providing our students with the background needed to join the twenty-first-century cybersecurity workforce,” says Starnes Walker, director of the Cybersecurity Initiative.

“Now, with this new designation, students completing our master’s program will receive a certificate demonstrating that they’ve received the training deemed important by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.”

With the 5 year designation, it’s clear that the UD CSI’s partnership with state, federal, and private agencies has proved successful in building cyber defenders that will protect our nation from cybercrime.