The University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity hosted five industry experts on Tuesday, Oct. 17 2017, to answer questions on how to get into the cybersecurity sector.
The University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity is continuing to build its growing reputation as a premier school for cybersecurity education.
UWF announced today that the center is partnering with the Florida Agency for State Technology to provide cybersecurity education and training to state employees.
“For us, it’s a huge honor and a huge responsibility,” said Eman El-Sheikh, director of the Center for Cybersecurity.
The AST is the agency charged with developing state IT policy, managing state IT resources and projects, maintaining the State Data Center and protecting information and access to services for Florida and Floridians.
UWF will commence its first, two-day training session for AST personnel today at the Florida Department of Revenue in Tallahassee. Initial sessions will focus on cybersecurity fundamentals and awareness concepts like cybersecurity incident management, network defense, operating system hardening, risk management and cloud security.
El-Sheikh said there will be back-to-back, two-day training sessions over the next two weeks with additional courses in the future. The training sessions will incorporate face-to-face training, online instruction and the Florida Cyber Range — a state-of-the-art platform created through a partnership between the UWF Center for Cybersecurity and Metova CyberCENTS that can emulate real-world assets such as websites and social media.
Ultimately, the training should bolster the skills and readiness of IT employees throughout the state.
“We’re excited about this project and what it means more broadly for cybersecurity workforce development and resiliency,” El-Sheikh said.
In a statement, AST Executive Director and State Chief Information Officer Eric Larson said, “We hope our partnership with UWF will serve as a model for other states to not only provide advanced cyber training, but to offer on-going educational opportunities for state employees.”
More: UWF touts Gulf Coast’s cybersecurity achievements in Washington, DC
UWF President Martha Saunders echoed the sentiment that the partnership is an opportunity to advance Florida’s cybersecurity industry locally and as a whole.
“This is a big deal,” Saunders said. “For one, it positions the state as the leader in cybersecurity training. For them to partner with us endorses the work we’ve done to date and endorses us as a leader in cybersecurity education.”
UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity has only been active since 2014, but it has already distinguished itself as a first-class operation.
The center was been designated as a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. UWF is also one of a handful of entities in the U.S. to be appointed a NSA/DHS Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center.
UWF has also cultivated relationships with state and federal agencies. Those partnerships have borne fruit like an arrangement with the NSA allowing military members in Corry Station cybersecurity programs to earn degree credit, a push by the DHS to recruit local workers, and the recent training agreement with the AST.
Each successive accomplishment has helped UWF garner even more achievements, accolades and allies, and the university shows no signs of slowing down.
“The more we can do to collaborate and build culture of cybersecurity, the better we’ll be as individuals and the better we’ll be as a community,” El-Sheikh said.
Kevin Robinson can be reached at email@example.com and 850-435-8527.
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