CSU Computer Science Researchers Earn Federal Grant To Develop Cybersecurity Training Tool

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The National Security Agency has awarded Columbus State University researchers a $174,000 grant to develop an intelligent tool for rapid cybersecurity training and curriculum development.

“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 Shuangbao (Paul) Wang, a professor in CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science. “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.”

The tool will be cloud-based with an expert system that can be accessed anywhere in the world including many Department of Defense installations, Wang said. The project will include visual mapping, a key technology that was developed at CSU.

This recent grant is another example of the cybersecurity expertise developing in CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science, which is developing a new TSYS Center for Cybersecurity thanks to a recent campaign donation from TSYS. The department earned National Security Agency (NSA) accreditation several years ago for the applied computer science master’s degree curriculum. Then NSA designated CSU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, recognizing CSU a national standard bearer in both teaching and applying the concept.

“And now, we are able to announce two federal cybersecurity grants in one month,” said Wayne Summers, chair of the TSYS School of Computer Science, noting NSA awarded a grant to CSU and Muscogee County School District to develop and implement a course in cybersecurity education specifically designed for middle school students. “Our faculty are truly at the leading edge of cybersecurity research and curriculum development.”

Wang said the CSU research is a result of federal investments of more than $19 billion for cybersecurity.

“National cybersecurity workforce development is one of the key areas of this action plan,” he said. “Our project idea has been well-received in academia and industry, and has been presented at several major national cybersecurity conferences. 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.”