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Christopher Newport Expands Programs to Fight Cyber Crime and Train Cybersecurity Experts

Students and faculty to help develop technology and training methods.

  Friday, June 21, 2019
  News

Christopher Newport University is joining an ambitious Virginia effort to deepen understanding of cyber threats and train more experts in cybersecurity.

The Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative (CCI), recently certified by the Virginia Research Investment Committee, will harness the individual strengths of Christopher Newport and other higher education institutions, industry and government.

“Our faculty and students will help develop technology and train the next wave of talent to tackle and prevent cyber crimes and vulnerabilities,” said President Paul Trible. “Christopher Newport is proud to be part of this critical initiative that will touch the lives of all Virginians.”

Members of the initiative will collaborate to position Virginia as a leader in the growing cybersecurity industry. The main CCI hub will be run by Virginia Tech, and four regional nodes will support the work throughout the state.

Christopher Newport, which has developed a cybersecurity major, is a member of the Coastal Center for Cyber Innovation node, housed in Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and its Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research.

The node will focus on security issues surrounding maritime transportation, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

“Being so close to the nation’s capital, Virginia has a particular need for cybersecurity experts,” said Dr. Anton Riedl, chair of the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. “As a smaller university with a liberal arts emphasis, Christopher Newport can provide a unique perspective in this endeavor. At the same time, this alliance will benefit our students and faculty through valuable connections and collaborations with institutions and businesses across the state.”

Other local institutions include the College of William & Mary, Norfolk State University and Thomas Nelson Community College.

Across the entire network, 320 faculty members from 39 institutions, as well as 65 companies, four federal partners and 45 other regional partners will participate in CCI’s efforts to help fill the over 33,000 cybersecurity jobs that exist in Virginia.

Members of the General Assembly and Governor Ralph Northam will invest $20 million annually beginning in 2020 in the state budget to generate research, education and statewide engagement in cybersecurity fields.

Among the initial efforts will be:

  • The CCI Fellows Program, which will empower select faculty across the network to work together, along with their students.
  • The 5G test bed, which will allow for the development and testing of security solutions in the next generation of mobile internet connectivity.
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