National security agencies renew Missouri S&T cybersecurity accreditation

Posted by
On March 19, 2019

Missouri S&T is the only university in Missouri to receive the federal government's CAE-R designation for cybersecurity education and research. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T is the only university in Missouri to receive the federal government’s CAE-R designation for cybersecurity education and research. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T has once again received accreditation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R). This designation puts Missouri S&T in an elite group of universities that meet the federal government’s criteria for providing educational and research opportunities in cybersecurity.

Missouri S&T is the only university in the state to hold the CAE-R designation, a distinction the campus has held since first receiving accreditation in June 2008. S&T was reaccredited in 2015 and, after receiving notice on Monday, March 18, 2019, will continue to hold this designation through 2024.

This accreditation is offered jointly by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“As a nation, we must continuously develop new resilience measures to ensure our cyber-physical security,” says Dr. Bruce M. McMillin, interim chair and professor of computer science at Missouri S&T. “The nation also needs a workforce trained to address our cybersecurity threats,” he adds.

“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,” McMillin says.

The NSA/DHS program is intended to increase the nation’s understanding of information assurance and cyber defense technology, policy and practices to 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 computing, mobile computing and the Internet of things.”

The Missouri S&T CAE-R program emphasizes graduate education and research in three areas:

  • Cybersecurity. S&T’s expertise in this area includes protective cyber-physical and mobile systems, enterprise-level information technology security, cloud and edge security, and sensor security.
  • Data science. Missouri S&T researchers are exploring data mining, deep learning and artificial intelligence as they relate to urban infrastructure, image analysis, computer vision, machine learning, real-time scheduling and heuristic problem solving.
  • Cyber-physical security. Research in this area is related to physical systems that rely on computer networks, such as power grids and autonomous vehicles. S&T researchers’ expertise includes smart grid technology, sensing and real-time systems.

For more information about the CAE-R program, visit the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website. For information about Missouri S&T’s cybersecurity initiatives, visit cae.mst.edu.

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