Hofstra Opens Cybersecurity Center

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.”

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz speaks at the opening of the new Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center

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.

A student demonstrates virtual reality technology

“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.

The Hofstra Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center is a 1000-square-foot facility that will be used by undergraduate and graduate students across many disciplines.

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.”

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