Latest information on operational modifications for fall 2021 Roadrunner Roadmap
Friday, September 17, 2021

NSA grant supports UTSA’s mission to make communities more cyber secure

NSA grant supports UTSA’s mission to make communities more cyber secure

Greg White, director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at UTSA, speaks during an August 26 event at Angelo State University announcing a partnership in which the CIAS will pilot a new cybersecurity program in the city of San Angelo.

AUGUST 27, 2021 — The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, as part of the National Security Agency (NSA), has awarded a grant in the amount of $1.67 million to the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at The University of Texas at San Antonio to help communities become more cyber secure nationwide.

The CIAS will work with multiple communities during the two-year grant, beginning with Angelo State University (ASU) and the city of San Angelo, to help develop a community-wide K-12 cybersecurity program, support local industry and government to be more cyber resilient, and help local academic institutions to develop cybersecurity programs for students by helping create Centers of Academic Excellence.

The UTSA team was awarded the grant following a competitive selection process available only to universities identified as Centers of Academic Excellence. UTSA is the only Hispanic Serving Institution to hold three National Center of Excellence designations from the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security.


“This program will develop sustainable initiatives that will help the whole community become cybersecurity savvy.”



A partnership between UTSA's Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security and the city of San Angelo was announced at an event at Angelo State University on August 26. The CIAS will help San Angelo develop cyber resiliency through several community efforts.



The CIAS is collaborating with ASU to develop a program that will be transferable and applicable to communities of any size.

“Communities nationwide are becoming increasingly targeted by cyber threats—both domestic and foreign—which is why a whole-community approach needs to be taken by communities to protect their citizens, organizations and infrastructures from cyber attacks,” said Greg White, director of the CIAS. “This NSA grant will enable the CIAS to work with Angelo State University to implement a cybersecurity program that starts with K-12 education and continues on into local businesses, government and the general public.”

The CIAS at UTSA has helped State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT) entities establish cybersecurity programs since 2002. Cybersecurity exercises, training efforts and assessments for states and communities have also been conducted for nearly 20 years, but this will be the first effort to integrate an entire cybersecurity program within a whole community.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to bring our experience and resources into the city of San Angelo,” White said. “This program will develop sustainable initiatives that will help the whole community become cybersecurity savvy.”

“I have served with Dr. White when we were both lieutenants stationed at Offutt AFB, Neb., and majors at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.,” added ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. “I have nothing but the utmost confidence and respect for his vision and wisdom when it comes to cybersecurity. It is an honor to serve with him again; especially in this capacity by ASU contributing to and supporting the students throughout San Angelo by piloting this unique program.”

The two-year pilot program will, in part, establish a K-12 cybersecurity initiative for elementary, middle and high schools that will provide cybersecurity lesson plans, tools and resources to students, teachers and counselors during the school year. It will also expand cybersecurity summer camps and encourage the establishment of CyberPatriot teams and Cyber Threat Defender card game tournaments.

Additionally, this grant will help establish a Culture of Cybersecurity program that targets K-5 students and a collegiate initiative that will provide an outreach program to area high schools, establish National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition teams, develop certification training and assist two- and four-year institutions to meet the requirements for a NSA/DHS Center of Academic of Excellence designation.

Other focus areas will target the establishment of local cybersecurity associations, establishing a continuing education initiative to assist individuals in receiving certifications, a training initiative for non-profit organizations, analysis of current needs for cybersecurity professionals within the community, a community Cybersecurity Day, and a whole-community cybersecurity program using the Community Cyber Security Maturity Model to include the establishment of a community Information Sharing and Analysis Organization.


EXPLORE FURTHER
Discover more about the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at UTSA.
Learn more about the Centers of Academic Excellence.
Read about the history and achievements of the CIAS in its 20th anniversary year.

“When this grant ends, the city of San Angelo will be the model for other communities across the state and the nation,” White said. “We look forward to expanding this program to other states during the second year of the pilot.”

“This is a first-of-its-kind pilot and will be a ‘game changer’ for the students and citizens here in San Angelo,” Hawkins added. “We have already spoken to Mayor Brenda Gunter; Carl Dethloff, superintendent of the San Angelo Independent School District; and Col. Andres Nazario, commander at Goodfellow Air Force Base, about pushing this pilot throughout the city, as well as Tom Green County. This pilot also helps us in our efforts to be recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence by the NSA.”

Julina Macy



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.


UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


Events


Spotlight

Spotlight

dtc-utsa-sign_680.png
University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

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.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.