Teaching and promoting cybersecurity to businesses, government and individuals are among the goals of a new center just launched by Middle Georgia State University’s School of Information Technology.
The Center for Cybersecurity Education and Applied Research (CCEAR) will provide an avenue for education and research in information assurance, computer network security, digital forensics, cryptography, risk assessment and mitigation, disaster recovery and management, security regulations and compliance and information security management. The center’s director is Johnathan Yerby, assistant professor in the School of IT.
The University’s bachelor’s degree in IT includes concentrations in Information Assurance & Security and Digital Forensics. Middle Georgia State is one of the few institutions in the University System of Georgia – and the only one in the midstate – to offer those concentrations as part of its IT degree program. The University is also the lead institution for the state of Georgia in the Southeastern Advanced Cybersecurity Education Consortium (ACE).
“Our plan is for the cybersecurity center to expand on the School of IT’s academic offerings and do more outreach,” said Dr. Kevin Floyd, program chair and associate professor. “We will work closely with area businesses to help them understand and deal with possible cybersecurity threats. For example, we recently worked with a municipal utility to help them detect vulnerabilities to their infrastructure. We want to provide more of those kind of consulting services.”
For the University community, the center is rolling out a series of presentations on cell phone security, social media security and credit card security. The center will be available to respond to media and community requests to increase awareness of cybersecurity related issues, according to Yerby.
CCEAR is headquartered in the School of IT office suite in the Professional Sciences & Conference Center on Middle Georgia State’s Macon Campus.