Hofstra University is launching an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center that will train students to detect and defend against cybercrime and create partnerships between industry, government and education to analyze threats and strengthen network security.
The center is a 1000-square-foot facility equipped with cutting-edge technology and simulation software to create hyper-realistic cyberattack scenarios. It is a joint project of the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, funded with an Empire State Development grant awarded through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.
In conjunction with the center’s opening, Hofstra is offering a new M.S. degree in cybersecurity with two concentrations: technology, or management and policy. The University already offers an undergraduate computer science degree in cybersecurity, and an MBA in cybersecurity management and policy.
“Our economy is more reliant on technology than ever before, and we must ensure New York has the resources to defend against cyberattacks,” said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. “This new research center will teach the next generation of New Yorkers how to counter these emerging threats, while preparing our entire state to handle the cybersecurity challenges of the future.”
Said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz: Cybercrime is an existential threat with staggering global economic and security implication. Working in partnership with the state of New York, we have created a center that will train a new generation of cybersecurity experts who can stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated hackers and safeguard the information and technology that power our economy.”
By 2021, the global cost of cybercrime will climb to an estimated $6 trillion while the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is expected to rise to 3.5 million, according to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report and the 2019-20 Annual Cybersecurity Jobs Report, by Cybersecurity Ventures of Northport, Long Island, publisher of Cybercrime Magazine. Today’s center opening comes as the nation marks National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week.
“Hofstra University has long believed that taking a leadership role on the critical challenges that face our region, particularly those that drive economic development, is an essential part of our mission,” said Hofstra University Board of Trustees Chair Donald Schaeffer. “This center will serve as a resource not just for our students, but for the local institutions, public and private, that are the foundation of the surrounding communities.”
Hofstra’s cybersecurity center is one of the only academic ‘war room’ facilities in the New York metro area with a cyber range, an immersive, virtual experience that replicates the high-pressure environment of an attack and allows students to work through it in real-time – from detection and response to repair and recovery.
“This state-of-the-art center will provide our students with hands-on learning access to launch, detect, and defeat attacks in a simulated environment,” said Dr. Sina Rabbany, dean of the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science.
All students enrolled in the new M.S. cybersecurity program will study the same core curriculum before splitting off into one of the two concentrations. The technology concentration focuses on the practical aspects of system security, and the design and development of architecture, while the management and policy program will prepare students for managerial careers with a focus on information risk management and developing organizational strategies to navigate those challenges.
Said Dr. Janet Lenaghan, dean of the Zarb School of Business: “One of the most important aspects of this center and of our new degree program is the interdisciplinary approach, because cybersecurity doesn’t exist in a silo – it requires an understanding of technology, law and public policy, as well as C-suite level strategic thinking and leadership skills.”
Located in C.V. Starr Hall on Hofstra’s South Campus, the Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center was funded in part by a $200,000 Empire State Development grant. It features 36 computers, a separate server room, and status boards on the walls that students use to manage the operations of a cybersecurity exhibition or share ideas and information. The center will be available to students across the University, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Among the equipment and software in the center:
- Circadence Project ARES: a fully immersive, game-ified, AI-powered cybersecurity learning platform.
- Metasploit-Pro: testing software to find security vulnerabilities on computer systems, networks or mobile applications that a hacker could exploit.
- Cellebrite UFED Touch2: software used by law enforcement, military, and intelligence agencies to protect, extract and maintain the integrity of data on a mobile device.
- CryptTool2: e-learning cryptology software that detects items that are not strictly malicious but pose some sort of risk to the user.
- IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), an AI-powered Virtual Assistant, and drones.
For more information about Hofstra’s cybersecurity programs, go to hofstra.edu/cybersecurity
What people are saying about Hofstra’s new Cybersecurity Center:
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric J. Gertler: “Through smart investments and strategic partnerships, we can train New Yorkers to face the challenges of tomorrow, while growing our economy today. This project will bring together students, business leaders, and experts to explore new ways to protect our state’s technology infrastructure and create a stronger, safer New York for all.”
State Senator Kevin Thomas: “In today’s technology-driven economy, a workforce of individuals trained in computer science and cybersecurity is an invaluable asset. This project will provide critical training to our students and prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The center is a valuable investment in both our state and local economies, one that will empower generations of students and strengthen the local business community here on Long Island.”
State Assembly Member Taylor Darling: “I commend Governor Cuomo and Hofstra University. I believe this is a great addition to Hofstra! In this day and age when cyber-crimes are more frequent than ever before, this is a great opportunity for students to make a career out of this ever-growing threat. It is important to encourage students from all backgrounds to get involved.”