Release Date: September 18, 2012
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 FBI.
"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 cyberattacks.
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.