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‘Higher’ Computer Science Education: Key Factor in Indiana’s Success in Cyber

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley-Romero

As the Cybersecurity Program Director for the State of Indiana, I’ve been fortunate to have a front row seat – over the past four years – to experience first-hand the progress that’s been achieved throughout the Hoosier State with all things cyber.

As we celebrate Computer Science Education Week, it’s fitting that I had the pleasure recently to attend the opening of the new Cyber Security Operations Center and Awareness Lab, located at Ivy Tech Community College’s campus in Valparaiso.

Funded entirely with donations, the lab will offer training to high school students interested in a career in cybersecurity, college students enrolled in the school’s cybersecurity degree program, as well as police officers and other law enforcement officials working on cybercrimes. What’s more, thanks to the installation of a proprietary cyber range software program and a curriculum that was created by Ivy Tech professors, the students will have the opportunity to run through cybersecurity scenarios in real time.

Having a proven, strategic, statewide approach for cybersecurity in place comes at an especially critical time. As of 2021, there is a ransomware attack every 11 seconds; that’s up from 39 seconds in 2019.

To help in taking on these challenges, there are a variety of cybersecurity degree programs and success being achieved at other Indiana colleges and universities, including:

  • Anderson University – Center for Security Studies and Cyber Defense, established through a $1 million Lilly Endowment Grant.
  • Indiana University – CyberCorps Program, designed to recruit and train the next generation of cyber professionals to meet the needs of federal, state, local and tribal governments.
  • Indiana Tech – State-of-the-Art learning environment for its cybersecurity students which will include a security operations center, a digital forensics lab and an interactive data center. The center is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Purdue University – Launched in August, the NSA awarded a $2 million cybersecurity innovation grant to cyberTAP to conduct onsite assessment projects for Indiana’s local governments and K-12 school districts.
  • WGU-Indiana – Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense through the 2026 academic year.
  • Vincennes University – Cybersecurity Center for providing students with access to networking, cybersecurity, information security and information assurance resources and students are given hands-on access to hardware and software while running a fully functional Security Operational Center (SOC).

Nationally, Indiana is at the forefront for cybersecurity among all other states because of the work that’s been completed by the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity and all our amazing partners in academia, military, and the private and public sector.

For more information about these programs and all things cyber, we invite you to look at our recently-released State of Cyber Report (2017-2021) and for what’s ahead in the 2021 Indiana Cybersecurity Strategic Plan.

This week, as we celebrate the value of what is being accomplished in the classroom, both in terms of cybersecurity and computer science – we invite you visit our Indiana Cybersecurity Hub website for the latest best practices, tips, and resources to help you, your family and co-workers stay safe whenever you’re online.