The University of Connecticut has been re-designated as a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research through academic year 2024. This is the third time UConn has received this designation, receiving its first in 2010. UConn is the only institution with this designation in the state of Connecticut.
The National Cyber Strategy, through which this re-designation is awarded, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education in protecting America’s cyberspace. The US government has committed itself to investing in programs like UConn’s which held develop a domestic workforce pipeline to the growing cybersecurity industry.
The Connecticut Cybersecurity Center (C3) at UConn broadens the goals and impact of four existing centers: the center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR), Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST), Comcast Center of Excellence for Security Innovation (CSI), and Synchrony-funded Center of Excellence, all of which focus on specific problems within the realm of cybersecurity.
“All of these centers have a very narrow focus,” C3 co-director John Chandy says. “There are a lot of other issues related to cybersecurity. We wanted an umbrella organization that’s more than just a single-focus center.”
C3, led by Chandy and co-director Laurent Michel, is designed to address a broad spectrum of cybersecurity issues utilizing the talent and specialties within each center it oversees.
The center facilitates research on all aspects of cybersecurity, including the emerging fields of mobile technology security, and web-based services and applications, in addition to longer-established concerns with hardware and software vulnerabilities, voting technology, and cyber industry partnerships.
By being a designated center of academic excellence in this field, UConn is more attractive to talented students looking for a top-notch program. This designation also makes UConn eligible for special programs, grants and scholarships.