Further cementing its ambitions as a national powerhouse in cybersecurity education, Columbus State University announced Tuesday that it received a $174,000 grant from the National Security Agency to develop a new tool for rapid cybersecurity training and curriculum development.
“The award makes CSU one of the top universities in the nation in providing technologies for cybersecurity workforce development to universities, government and private sector across the nation,” said Shuangbao Wang, a professor in CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science in a press release.
The tool will be internet-based, allowing it to be accessed anywhere in the world. Wang expects it will eventually be used by global Department of Defense installations and other private and public organizations.
A key part of the tool will be the use of visual mapping, a technology developed by researchers at the university to assist in military decision making.
“We are building a tool that people across the nation can use to develop cybersecurity training, which guarantees compliance with government and industry standards for cybersecurity workforce development,” said Wang.
The grant is the latest in a string of awards the university has received for developing cybersecurity programs. Earlier this month, CSU announced that it had partnered with the Muscogee County School District to develop a yearlong cybersecurity course at Rothschild Leadership Academy with the help of a $50,000 grant from the NSA.
The university also hosted a weeklong cybersecurity summer camp in June with another NSA grant, this one for $28,000.
The investments may well pay off, with worldwide spending on cybersecurity estimated to reach more than $100 billion by 2020, according to research by the International Data Corporation. That spending is butting against an expected shortage of about two million jobs by 2019.
“National cybersecurity workforce development is one of the key areas of this action plan,” Wang said. “Upon completion, universities, government, and private sector across the nation can use the tool to quickly develop training and curriculum that otherwise would not be possible due to lack of experts, knowledge and skills.”
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE