Missouri University of Science and Technology has once again been accredited as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Research. Missouri S&T is the only university in the state with this active designation and is one of 56 schools in the nation.
Missouri S&T originally earned accreditation in June 2008. This re-accreditation will last until 2019. This designation is offered jointly by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
This accreditation means that Missouri S&T is part of an elite group of universities that meet the federal government’s criteria for providing educational and research opportunities in cybersecurity.
“The nation is constantly having to develop new resilience measures to ensure our cyber-physical security,” says Dr. Bruce M. McMillin, professor of computer science and associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at Missouri S&T. “The federal government alone has a current need for 20,000 new cybersecurity experts, and that number is expected to continue to grow each year.”
The goal of the NSA/DHS program is to proactively increase the nation’s understanding of information assurance and cyber defense technology, policy and practices to effectively prevent and respond to a catastrophic cyber event. The vulnerabilities in national information infrastructure will be reduced by promoting research in cybersecurity.
“Missouri S&T offers a unique contribution to the information assurance field with our focus on ensuring the combined cyber and physical security of the nation’s electric power grid, oil, gas and water distribution systems, and transportation systems,” says McMillin. “Our research focuses on the security and privacy of cyber-physical systems, cloud computation, mobile computing and the Internet of things.”
The Center of Academic Excellence also ties into Missouri S&T’s “Smart Living” signature research area. One of four university research areas connected to long-term critical national issues, research and entrepreneurship potential, and aligned with Missouri S&T’s strategic plan, Smart Living includes interdisciplinary research into cybersecurity, sustainable energy research, behavioral and environmental psychology, and transportation and infrastructure to lead to a more secure and sustainable society.