(April 10, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute and the University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance have received a three-year, $800,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help states and communities prepare for, detect and respond to cyberattacks in a consistent manner.
The funding will support the development of one new training course and the updating of five existing training courses. The courses will address cybersecurity awareness, policy, monitoring and incident response, disaster recovery, business continuity and risk/vulnerability management.
The grant formally establishes the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC), which includes the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI).
"The five universities in this consortium are very skilled at developing and delivering cybersecurity preparedness training or exercise support," said Greg White, director of the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security. "Many times, the communities we train have a great start, but they are missing some of the strategies necessary to implement successful and sustainable cybersecurity preparedness and response programs. Among communities with a plan, we commonly see inconsistencies that would prevent multiple entities from working together to respond to a cyberattack."
The Community Cyber Security Maturity Model (CCSMM), developed by the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security, offers a framework around which the consortium's activities revolve. Each of the members of the consortium addresses a different, necessary piece of the model. This results in a more coordinated multi-university program and helps states and communities better prepare for inevitable cybersecurity incidents.
As part of this grant, the Developing a Community Cybersecurity Program course will be created. This course will provide community leaders, network/security technical personnel and individual users an understanding of what it takes to develop a coordinated approach to securing networks and computers in their communities. The course will explore each person's role and responsibility within the community and how each fits into a coordinated program to establish a culture of security within the community. Additionally, the course will introduce trainees to the various courses offered by the consortium partners and the Department of Homeland Security.
Since technology becomes outdated quickly, the consortium also will update five existing cybersecurity preparedness courses with support from the FEMA grant.
In 2006, the University of Memphis developed its ACT Online training program, a series of 10 cybersecurity preparedness courses, which have been hosted online by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service at Texas A&M University since 2009. Since they were originally offered, nearly 22,000 students have taken the courses. With funding from the FEMA grant, the University of Memphis will update three of its training courses: Cyber Incident Analysis and Response, Business Information Continuity and Information Risk Management. New technology and security issues will be incorporated into the courses to keep them current.
Additionally, the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute will update two courses: Comprehensive Cyberterrorism Defense and Cyberterrorism First Responder. The courses, each delivered in a blended format over a four-and-a-half-day period, are designed for technical individuals who have the responsibility of actually defending computer systems and networks. Classroom lectures will provide participants with general instruction in cybersecurity principles and policies. The hands-on lab applications will simulate cyber-based attacks, introduce participants to tools to use in their prevention and response efforts, and provide participants with an opportunity to apply what they learn in a real world environment.
Since 2004, NCPC members have developed and delivered cybersecurity and cyberterrorism training and exercise support nationwide to a targeted audience of community leaders and critical infrastructure technical personnel. Their programs have reached individuals in all 50 states, garnering consortium members widespread recognition among state and local government leaders and information technology departments, federal and law enforcement agencies, colleges and universities, training academies and other related organizations throughout the United States.
UTSA Associate Dean/Associate Professor Francine Romero will sit down with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg for a wide-ranging conversation about the Mayor's vision for the City's future. Seating is at capacity but the San Antonio Express-News will stream it live.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
The sympoisum will focus on the interface between aging and neurodegenerative diseases, will educate the wider research community about advancements in this fast-paced field and stimulate collaborative research in this area. Register online for this free event.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.106), Main Campus
The 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics is offering four special panels open and free to the San Antonio public July 31-Aug. 3 to mark the tricentennial next year. The event is co-sponsored by UTSA Research.
Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., San Antonio
Orientation marks a major step toward becoming a Roadrunner. It is a unique experience designed to welcome freshmen and transfers to UTSA and ensure a successful transition into college. They will learn about UTSA, prepare for their first semester and have fun meeting other students. There is also a special Family Orientation program too.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.