A Push for Cybersecurity Education

With cybersecurity continuing to make headlines around the world, the University of Oregon is stepping up to provide future workers with the skills and training necessary to work in this increasingly important field. Under the guidance of associate professor Jun Li, an internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity, the university has created the new Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy, with the intent to offer an advanced degree in the subject, according to The Register Guard.

As hacks and breaches are announced on a weekly or even daily basis, the demand for cybersecurity workers is clear, but far outstrips the available supply. In response to this dearth of workers, Li moved to expand and develop UO’s Computer & Information Science offerings, through the Cybersecurity and Privacy Center.

While still early in its development, the Center has already been designated by the NSA and DHS through 2019 as a “National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research," which flags the university for students, employers and hiring managers, for foundations and federal agencies. The center will also as a focus for interdisciplinary research. As observed by Li, "Efforts from previous endeavors would often be wasted. People do not know, or remember, what happened in the last inter­disciplinary initiative. Having the center carries the memory over different interdisciplinary projects.”

Both this project and similar ones across the state have met challenges from regulatory bodies and government, says The Register Guard. “So far, the effort has bogged down as Oregon lawmakers haggled over how to approach the problem and key cybersecurity tech leaders left the state,” says the article.