BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has received a $1.6
million federal grant to teach students how to protect the United
States from cyberattacks.
UB will use the grant, awarded by the National Science
Foundation, to bring up to 16 students into its Center of
Excellence in Information Systems, Assurance, Research and
Education (CEISARE). It is one of approximately 50 federally
designated centers that supply the United States with graduates
trained to protect the nation from computer-based attacks. For more
information, visit: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/caeiae.
The grant will cover the cost of student stipends ($25,000),
in-state graduate tuition and fees ($12,000) and books, travel
expenses and health insurance ($3,000) for two years. At roughly
$80,000 per student, this equals $1.3 million. The remainder of the
grant, roughly $345,000, will cover the cost of running the center
for five years.
In exchange for the financial support, students must agree to
work for the federal government for two years upon graduation.
CEISARE Director Shambhu Upadhyaya said students can choose from
numerous agencies including the National Security Agency, the
Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the
"When students graduate with a specialty in cybersecurity, they
can basically go wherever they want," said Upadhyaya, professor of
computer science and engineering.
For a picture of Upadhyaya, visit: http://ubphoto.smugmug.com.
An interdisciplinary program, CEISARE includes a varied group of
UB faculty. For example, the grant's co-investigators are: Thomas
Cusick, professor of mathematics; H. Raghav Rao, SUNY Distinguished
Service Professor in management science and systems department; and
Mark Bartholomew, associate professor of law.
The diversity reflects the nuances of computer warfare, which
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said is the most
serious economic and national security threat that the United
States faces. She and other national security officials have warned
that electric grids, transportation systems, banks and other
industries reliant on computer systems are susceptible to
Upadhyaya pointed to the 2009 hacking of sensitive information
from the Pentagon's $300 billion, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project
as an example.
The $1.6 million grant is the second multi-year award received
by CEISARE. In 2008, it received $860,000 to educate 11 students,
some of whom went on to work for the National Security Agency, the
Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Inspector General.