UTSA cyber security programs ranked No. 1 in nation by security pros

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(Feb. 21, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio cyber security program has been ranked the best in the nation, according to a national survey of certified information technology security professionals. The Ponemon Institute conducted the survey for Hewlett-Packard.

>> Learn more about the ranking in Computerworld.

"UTSA's success in cyber security is based on the exceptional faculty that have built a world class education and research program," said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. "Their efforts are leading the way for excellence as UTSA positions itself to become a Tier One research institution."

UTSA is a recognized leader in the field of infrastructure assurance and security by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The university is one of 58 U.S. institutions to hold the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) designation. The CAE-R program in information assurance aims to increase the understanding of robust technologies, policies and practices through research to enable the United States to effectively prevent or respond to a catastrophic cyber event.

UTSA also is a designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE). The CAE program reduces vulnerability in the U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance and by supporting a growing number of professionals with information assurance expertise.

Security is one of UTSA's five core research strengths. The university offers top-tier academic programs in security through the College of Sciences, College of Business and College of Engineering to meet the public and private sectors' need for new and highly qualified cyber security professionals.

UTSA also is home to the Institute for Cyber Security, Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security and Center for Education and Research in Information and Infrastructure Assurance and Security. The centers and institutes are focused on solving global security challenges in today's increasingly technological world. They also give UTSA students the opportunity to conduct research alongside some of the nation's most respected faculty members in security.

"Several years ago, UTSA made a strategic decision to invest in the area of cyber security and hire experts in the field from around the nation to conduct research and teach our students," said Mauli Agrawal, UTSA interim vice president for research. "The latest ranking and recognition are yet another validation of the success of this approach."

Hewlett-Packard's ranking was derived from a survey that asked 2,000 certified IT professionals to rank the top five strongest colleges and universities in security from a list of 403 educational institutions. Respondents rated each school's program according to their perceptions of the school's academic rigor, faculty quality, professional reputation and other qualifications.

UTSA is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. Additionally, it is one of eight U.S. universities ranked among the world's top 100 universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education.